Cognitive Enhancement and Social Mobility: Skepticism from India.
Dasgupta J., Lockwood Estrin G., Summers J., Singh I.
Cognitive enhancement (CE) covers a broad spectrum of methods, including behavioral techniques, nootropic drugs, and neuromodulation interventions. However, research on their use in children has almost exclusively been carried out in high-income countries with limited understanding of how experts working with children view their use in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). This study examines perceptions on cognitive enhancement, their techniques, neuroethical issues about their use from an LMICs perspective.Seven Indian experts were purposively sampled for their expertise in bioethics, child development and child education. In-depth interviews were conducted using a semi-structured topic guide to examine (1) understanding of CE, (2) which approaches were viewed as cognitive enhancers, (3) attitudes toward different CE techniques and (4) neuroethical issues related to CE use within the Indian context. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed before thematic analysis.Findings indicate Indian experts view cognitive enhancement as a holistic positive impact on overall functioning and well-being, rather than improvement in specific cognitive abilities. Exogenous agents, and neuromodulation were viewed with skepticism, whereas behavioral approaches were viewed more favorably. Neuroethical concerns included equitable access to CE, limited scientific evidence and over-reliance on technology to address societal problems. This highlights the need for more contextually relevant neuroethics research in LMICs.