Cognitive enhancement for the ageing world: opportunities and challenges

Marcello Ienca*, David Martin Shaw, Bernice Elger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Population ageing and the global burden of dementia pose a major challenge for human societies and a priority for public health. Cognitive enhancement, i.e. the targeted amplification of core cognitive abilities, is raising increasing attention among researchers as an effective strategy to complement traditional therapeutic and assistive approaches, and reduce the impact of age-related cognitive disability. In this paper, we discuss the possible applicability of cognitive enhancement for public health purposes to mitigate the burden of population ageing and dementia. After discussing the promises and challenges associated with enhancing ageing citizens and people with cognitive disabilities, we argue that global societies have a moral obligation to consider the careful use of cognitive enhancement technologies as a possible strategy to improve individual and public health. In addition, we address a few primary normative issues and possible objections that could arise from the implementation of public health-oriented cognitive enhancement technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2308-2321
Number of pages14
JournalAgeing & Society
Volume39
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • cognitive enhancement
  • public health
  • ethics
  • technology governance
  • policy
  • CHILDHOOD MENTAL-ABILITY
  • DEMENTIA
  • HEALTH
  • BRAIN
  • INTELLIGENCE
  • PREVENTION
  • DISEASE
  • LINKING
  • GAIT
  • IQ

Cite this