Neuroenhancement at Work: Addressing the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications

  • Veljko DubljevićEmail author
  • Iris Coates McCall
  • Judy Illes
Part of the Advances in Neuroethics book series (AIN)


Neuroenhancement is associated with a wide range of existing, emerging, and future biomedical technologies that are intended to improve human cognitive performance and mitigate—if not reverse—human error. Neuroenhancement in classrooms, universities, and the military has been discussed at length, but the workplace has been largely omitted from the conversation until now. By providing examples from branches of the commercial market that are rarely linked with cognitive enhancement in the literature, we argue that neuroenhancement at work is likely to become a major challenge in the labor market. Therefore, we focus here on the specific application of neuroenhancements to the workplace. Central issues involve both drugs and devices, some of which are well-trodden ethical concerns while others are novel challenges. We conclude with a brief discussion and outline of a discourage-use policy that has the potential to mitigate the challenges of neuroenhancement at work.


Neuroenhancement at work Neuroethics 



VD is supported by the Faculty Research and Professional Development program at NC State University. This project was also supported in part by Technical Safety BC, Vancouver, Canada (ICM and JI) and Neuroethics Canada. JI is Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics. Special thanks go to Abigail Scheper for her help with language editing and formatting.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veljko Dubljević
    • 1
    Email author
  • Iris Coates McCall
    • 2
  • Judy Illes
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Neuroethics Canada, Division of Neurology, Department of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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