Osteopathic Medical Students’ Attitudes Towards Different Modalities of Neuroenhancement: a Pilot Study

Aakash A. Dave, Laura Y. Cabrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The advancement of society has coincided with the development and use of technologies intended to improve cognitive function, which are collectively known as neuroenhancers. While several studies have assessed public perception towards the moral acceptability of pharmacological and device-based cognitive enhancers, just a few have compared perceptions across different modalities of cognitive enhancers. In this pilot study, 154 osteopathic medical students were asked to read one of six possible vignettes describing a certain type of improvement—therapy or above the norm—brought about by using one of three modalities—neurodevice, pill, or herbal supplement. Subjects answered questions that were designed to reveal their attitudes towards the given scenario. Our participants suggested that improvement using neurodevices and herbal supplements is more acceptable than when pills are used. We also found that acceptable attitudes towards cognitive enhancement were subserved by reasons such as “positive outcome from use” and “it’s safe” and unacceptable attitudes by reasons such as “safety concerns” and “no need.” Furthermore, a majority of participants would prefer to consult with a physician regarding the use of cognitive enhancers prior to accessing them. These results provide novel insights into pressing neuroethical issues and warrant further studying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-433
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cognitive Enhancement
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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