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Neurotechnologies for Human Cognitive Augmentation: Current State of the Art and Future Prospects

Cinel, Caterina and Valeriani, Davide and Poli, Riccardo (2019) 'Neurotechnologies for Human Cognitive Augmentation: Current State of the Art and Future Prospects.' Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 13 (13). ISSN 1662-5161

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Abstract

Recent advances in neuroscience have paved the way to innovative applications that cognitively augment and enhance humans in a variety of contexts. This paper aims at providing a snapshot of the current state of the art and a motivated forecast of the most likely developments in the next two decades. Firstly, we survey the main neuroscience technologies for both observing and influencing brain activity, which are necessary ingredients for human cognitive augmentation. We also compare and contrast such technologies, as their individual characteristics (e.g., spatio-temporal resolution, invasiveness, portability, energy requirements, and cost) influence their current and future role in human cognitive augmentation. Secondly, we chart the state of the art on neurotechnologies for human cognitive augmentation, keeping an eye both on the applications that already exist and those that are emerging or are likely to emerge in the next two decades. Particularly, we consider applications in the areas of communication, cognitive enhancement, memory, attention monitoring/enhancement, situation awareness and complex problem solving, and we look at what fraction of the population might benefit from such technologies and at the demands they impose in terms of user training. Thirdly, we briefly review the ethical issues associated with current neuroscience technologies. These are important because they may differentially influence both present and future research on (and adoption of) neurotechnologies for human cognitive augmentation: an inferior technology with no significant ethical issues may thrive while a superior technology causing widespread ethical concerns may end up being outlawed. Finally, based on the lessons learned in our analysis, using past trends and considering other related forecasts, we attempt to forecast the most likely future developments of neuroscience technology for human cognitive augmentation and provide informed recommendations for promising future research and exploitation avenues.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: neuroscience, cognitive augmentation, brain-computer interfaces, decision-making, neuroergonomics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2019 14:59
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23931

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