Neurotechnology and ethics guidelines for human enhancement: The case of the hippocampal cognitive prosthesis

Yasemin J. Erden*, Philip Brey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


Neurotechnologies offer both therapeutic and enhancement potential. In this article, we demonstrate how ethics guidelines can help with critical reflection on their potential for enhancement. We do this through the case of the hippocampal cognitive prosthesis. This prothesis developed in the US, has primarily therapeutic ends, with scope for enhancement. This technology raises several ethical issues, including as related to identity and memory, autonomy and authenticity. In the first section, we outline what we mean by enhancement, and introduce neurotechnologies generally and the hippocampal cognitive prosthesis specifically, with an introduction to generally relevant ethical issues. In the second section, we outline ethical issues pertinent to the hippocampal cognitive prosthesis and explore how ethics guidelines can help to promote essential critical reflection on a technology like this. Through all this, our emphasis is to balance between technological optimism and caution, especially where technologies have enhancement potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1235-1241
Number of pages7
JournalArtificial organs
Issue number8
Early online date2 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • augmentation
  • cognitive prosthesis
  • ethics
  • human enhancement
  • identity
  • memory
  • neurotechnology
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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