The Over-Extended Mind? Pink Noise and the Ethics of Interaction-Dominant Systems

Darian Meacham*, Miguel Prado Casanova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


There is a growing recognition within cognitive enhancement and neuroethics debates of the need for greater emphasis on cognitive artefacts. This paper
aims to contribute to this broadening and expansion of the cognitive-enhancement and neuroethics debates by focusing on a particular form of relation or coupling between humans and cognitive artefacts: interactiondominance.
We argue that interaction-dominance as an emergent property of some human-cognitive artefact relations has important implications for understanding
the attribution and distribution of causal and other forms of responsibility as well as agency relating to the actions of human-cognitive artefact couplings. Interactiondominance is both indicated and constituted by the phenomenon of Bpink noise^. Understanding the role of noise in this regard will establish a necessary theoretical groundwork for approaching the ethical and political dimensions of relations between human cognition and digital cognitive artefacts. We argue that pink noise in this context plays a salient role in the practical,
ethical, and political evaluation of coupling relations between humans and cognitive artefacts, and subsequently in the responsible innovation of cognitive artefacts and human-artefact interfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Noise
  • Extended mind
  • cognitive science
  • cognitive artefacts
  • Responsible research and innovation RRI
  • enhancement
  • Value-sensitive design
  • Interaction-dominant systems
  • Human enhancement technology
  • Responsibility
  • Pink noise
  • Cognitive artefacts
  • Distributed cognition
  • Responsible research and innovation
  • Extended mind thesis
  • Machine-human hybrid
  • Enhancement


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