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Monday, April 20, 2015

Moral bioenhancement: a neuroscientific perspective

By Molly Crockett
J Med Ethics 2014;40:370-371

Here is an excerpt:

The science of moral bioenhancement is in its infancy. Laboratory studies of human morality usually employ highly simplified models aimed at measuring just one facet of a cognitive process that is relevant for morality. These studies have certainly deepened our understanding of the nature of moral behaviour, but it is important to avoid overstating the conclusions of any single study. De Grazia cites several purported examples of ‘non-traditional means of moral enhancement’, including one of my own studies. According to De Grazia, we showed that ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (can be used) as a means to being less inclined to assault people’. In fact, our findings are a bit more subtle and nuanced than implied in the target article, as is often the case in neuroscientific studies of complex human behaviour.

The entire article is here.