There are a lot of fine blogs out there covering the avalance of current neuroscience research. With this blog we want to highlight the many consequences of this growing understanding of the human brain. We are especially interested in two types of consequences:
Tinkering with the brain
First and foremost, with an understanding of how the brain works comes the possibility of tinkering with it. We already use billions of dollars every year on psychopharmocologia trying to treat depression, skizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental diseases. But should we also use our knowledge of the brain to “treat” udesirable mental traits such as paedophilia or sociopathy? And what about enhancing normal brains? Clearly, evolution hasn’t endowed us with the most efficient brain imaginable. Shouldn’t we do something about its many shortcomings?
What is it like to be a human being?
Secondly, our view of human behaviour is sure to change with our improved understanding of the human brain. Our knowledge of core human faculties such as language, social reasoning, aesthetics, and economics is already being challenged by modern neuroscience, yielding multiple hard questions. Do we have a free will? Is the mind innate or plastic? If people are not responsible for their actions (since all actions are caused by blind molecular processes) does our legal system still make sense?
In short, will modern neuroscience come to completely redefine “human nature”?
We try to discuss contemporary research literature, not just news reports. Although we will occasionally also target popular science reports, since we believe they play an important role in dissemining lessons from the lab. And in the future we plan to also post interviews with interesting researchers, as well as link to our own publications in journals and books.
– Thomas Ramsøy & Martin Skov