He also looks at what drives us to want to be 'superhuman', and the consequences for the individual and society alike:. If you've ever wondered - or worried - about the pace at which technology is progressing, then this book will give you an eye-opening glimpse of the future in this fascinating field. About the author Pete Moore has been a freelance science writer since , and specialises in making 'academish' intelligible to people who only speak English!
He has received seven national awards for his work, and has appeared on radio and television on 50 different occasions, discussing his books and related news events. Request permission to reuse content from this site. Undetected location.
Science is developing more and more potential for human beings to enhance themselves. The pace of change is rapid, and some people are already warning . obalemyr.gq: Enhancing Me: The Hope and the Hype of Human Enhancement ( Science Museum TechKnow Series) (): Pete Moore: Books.
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minyueh.nctucs.net/map67.php This is a dummy description. Science is developing more and more potential for human beings to enhance themselves.
The pace of change is rapid, and some people are already warning that we are heading for a post-human future populated by ever-lasting, self-sustaining intelligence systems into which the contents of a human mind have been poured He also looks at what drives us to want to be 'superhuman', and the consequences for the individual and society alike: If you could live forever, would you want to? Every time I turn around he wants a hug, or just wants to hold me.
No complaints here. There is no fragrance to this that I can smell, which I love, so you can wear it with your regular perfume. Perhaps the most hot button topic in oxytocin research is that it has been implicated as a potential therapy in autism spectrum disorder ASD , which is currently untreatable with pharmacotherapy.
Young notes that researchers are currently working to find a way to get the brain to stimulate an increase in release of oxytocin by means other than the use of chemical sprays. Moreover, some studies have found that increased concentrations of oxytocin in the brain have increased emotion regulation, eye gaze, and ability to interpret nonverbal facial expressions in patients with ASD. According to Young, this, in turn, incites the ethical consideration of whether parents are justified in seeking intranasal OT to treat their autistic children and whether physicians should be allowed to prescribe intranasal OT to their patients if they deem this appropriate.
He also asks, should we use oxytocin to promote sociality beyond just those with ASD? Is this a form of cosmetic pharmacology? Some people have even begun self-administering oxytocin as well as to their children, regardless of whether they have a confirmed diagnosis or not. An Amazon commenter posted: "We use this on our 6 year old son who maybe on the spectrum.
He has terrible meltdowns and has had problems socially. This works as a miracle cure — sometimes. Sometimes he is engaging and interactive, patient, kind, loving, amazing. Others he still has meltdowns.
Plus it helps him sleep. All in all — definitely amazing. Experts recommend parents to wait until more is known about the long term effects of using oxytocin to treat ASD and other prosocial disorders, but still, "some parents of children with autism have asked doctors to prescribe it It sort of disrupted the thoughts that were making me nervous.
Another ethically controversial scenario Young raised was the possibility of using OT to promote trust in patients such as for psychotherapy.
In accordance with the study that found that oxytocin increases trust , we can theoretically make anyone more trusting, and this has potential applications in all fields. If OT makes people from any vocation or background trust more, then patients may open up and tell their doctors and psychiatrists the full extent of their symptoms.
In situations outside the medical field, it is possible that investors could look to invest their money in people or corporations they can trust. Maybe we could have more effective lawyers once they have percent trust in their clients, and perhaps everyone wins.
As expected, though, there are many ethical issues to take into consideration before we start entertaining the notion that we can chemically induce trust. Many, including patients in this context of healthcare, often have reasons to withhold trust or choose to cultivate trust over time. Would oxytocin truly enhance or deteriorate the patient-doctor therapeutic alliance? We must ask ourselves, could this actually do more good than harm?
Would it be worth it in the grand scheme of things to chemically induce trust, or are we fine the way we are, since we have evolved to only produce and utilize a certain amount of oxytocin in our bodies?
Could oxytocin assist in positive social interactions in general, even in people who don't specifically have any diagnoses of ASD or another disorder? Might it even be used for cognitive or moral enhancement? This raises the question of whether yet lower doses might be advantageous for the brain without inducing extraordinary effects on consciousness.
This trend has spread, and some of my friends here in England are even dabbling. Their reports are consistent with unpublished online surveys reportedly showing that microdosing improves focus and motivation, and reduces distractibility and procrastination. In the first preregistered study on this subject, Professor Norman Farb from the University of Toronto contacted people interested in microdosing psychedelics via reddit and social media sites.
He and his colleagues recruited microdosers and non-microdosers from 29 countries, most of whom were young white men. Participants completed online questionnaires about their substance use histories and personality traits.
They also did a creativity task. Their results also show that microdosers score lower on assessments of dysfunctional attitudes and neuroticism, and higher on measures of creativity, open-mindedness, and wisdom. I do find these findings intriguing though, and they dovetail neatly with one of the only other published studies on microdosing.
The Dutch are a progressive bunch, and truffles are once again legal in The Netherlands. Luisa Prochazkova , a PhD candidate from Leiden University, took advantage of this by asking young adults attending an event held by the Psychedelics Society of The Netherlands to take part in a simple experiment.
Well, one ability the researchers assessed was convergent thinking, the capacity to identify the correct solution to a task in which there is only one correct solution. They tested this via the Picture Concept task. The goal of this task is to identify the straight-line series of images that are related. In other circumstances, however, we need to rack our brains to come up with as many solutions as possible to a problem.
This is divergent thinking ability, which was tested by the Alternate Uses Task. The goal in this task is to come up with as many uses for a common household item as possible in a restricted amount of time. This is a test of fluid intelligence , the ability to solve novel problems, problems in which prior knowledge is practically useless. Although 38 people took part, there were some issues with data collection, so the convergent thinking analysis included results for 27 people, divergent thinking analysis included results for 33 people, and fluid intelligence analysis included all participants.
The researchers also looked at subcategories of divergent thinking, finding that in the Alternate Uses Task participants gave more responses, responses from a higher number of categories, and more original responses after consuming truffles.
Since there was no effect on fluid intelligence, the findings imply that microdosing truffles might benefit creativity but not more general analytical skills. Given the results of previous research on psychedelics, you may have expected that the kinds of flexible thought processes needed to do well in divergent thinking tasks would improve after microdosing truffles. The researchers did a great job of highlighting the limitations of their study. Some of these include:. With this said, imagine this: A subsequent triple-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of carefully measured microdoses of a psychedelic shows that microdosing in fact has no measurable effects on anything related to creativity or intelligence, implying that microdosing might as well be homeopathy.
However, outside of the lab microdosers remain convinced that microdosing expands their mental capacities, and because of their beliefs they experience the kinds of improvements in brain function reported in this study. In this scenario, the microdosers would truly benefit, just not for the reasons they believe they are. As I discussed in my last blog , mindset has potent effects on our biology and behaviour.
And the microdoses had measurable effects: The study showed that when people microdose LSD, time intervals of two to four seconds feel slower to them. In addition to exploring effects of acute and repeated microdosing on cognitive function, it would be valuable to test whether this practice has other applications. And if you want to boost your brain function above the level to which mastering these basics takes it, train your brain.