Professor Martin Dresler (Radboud University Medical Centre (NL) ►LINK
Hacking the brain: state- and trait-dependence of cognitive enhancement strategies
Cognitive enhancement is a multifaceted concept: there is not one cognitive enhancer that augments brain function per se, but a great variety of interventions that can be clustered into biochemical, physical, and behavioral enhancement strategies. These cognitive enhancers differ in their mode of action, the cognitive domain they target, the time scale they work on, their availability and side effects, and how they differentially affect different groups of subjects. In this talk I will focus in particular on the state- and trait-dependence of different cognitive enhancement strategies, and will highlight examples from sleep and memory research.
Professor Saskia Nagel (RWTH Aachen University, Department for Society, Technology, and Human Factors, Germany) ►LINK
"Ethical questions on enhancement throughout life - relations and responsibilization"
In this talk, I will revisit the ethical discussion on neuro-enhancement with a focus on pediatric neuro-enhancement and enhancement in higher age. I will discuss how vulnerabilities in those phases can be compared, and how they pose specific normative questions.
For pediatric neuro-enhancement in children and adolescents, a plethora of questions arises from the child-parent-physician triad with a not (fully) autonomous child for who both, parents and physicians, feel responsible, and might feel pressure to act. A similar perceived pressure to act can be observed in the discourse on responsibilities during ageing and in high age, e.g. suggesting people at higher age are responsible for „active“ aging. I will suggest a guarded view on responsibilization in the context of neuro-enhancement.
Professor Amelia Arria (University of Maryland, School of Public Health, USA) ►LINK
Prescription Stimulant Misuse among College Students in the U.S: Etiology, Motives and Perceptions
Prescription stimulants are misused by college students for a variety of purposes. This presentation will synthesize findings from studies of college students in the United States regarding risk factors, motives, and perceptions of benefit and harm. Diversion of prescription stimulants by individuals with ADHD is a major source for obtaining stimulants for nonmedical use, and has significant implications for prevention strategies. Longitudinal and other research has demonstrated robust associations between prescription drug misuse with other forms of substance use. The degree to which the risk factors for prescription stimulant misuse and diversion behavior overlap with the etiology for other drug use will be discussed (e.g., sensation-seeking, peer influences). Moreover, findings will be presented showing that prescription stimulant misuse is associated with deficits in academic functioning, contrary to the general perception of these drugs as performance enhancers for individuals without an ADHD diagnosis. Throughout the presentation, attention will be focused on the social and developmental context of these behaviors during young adulthood.
Professor Martin Schütte (Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Germany) ►LINK
Neuro-enhancement viewed from the perspective of occupational safety and health
Starting from the concept of humane work, especially the description of its fundamental principles and its consequences for work design, neuro-enhancement will be put into this framework taking into consideration occupational safety and health. Current epidemiological findings on neuro-enhancement will be presented considering occupations respectively trade branches. Based on a mixed-method study, examining employees from different occupations with high cognitive demands, the advantages of combining quantitative and qualitative methods for gaining insight into the prevalence of neuro-enhancement as well as the reasons for medical abuse will be demonstrated. The results will be discussed regarding so-called „key factors of work design“: these are risk factors which should be avoided or minimized as well as resources at work which should be fostered.