All of the methods, drugs, and research that involve the brain are treading on new territory. With each new discovery, comes the challenge of applying it with ethics and a value system that we can all agree on.
The brain is a very changeable organ. It can grow, mutate, and rewire itself as needed. This is often a normal response to trauma or injury. However, science can now induce the brain to change at will. Known as plasticity, the brain's ability to adapt has been studied since the beginning of the 19th century. This ability to change offers some hope for the treatment of Alzheimer's and other diseases of the brain. This research can further help us understand the causes and treatment for a wide range of mental illnesses. It may also lead to products that can enhance the brains functioning. This carries with it the ethical considerations of tampering with our normal thought processes.
Rearranging our thinking is nothing new. Biofeedback was an early attempt at using technology to alter our thinking. There are currently numerous drugs available to treat everything from mild stress to schizophrenia. We can also alter our thinking with electronic devices such as with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). It is believed that this device may improve cognitive ability and treat sleep deprivation. ...Show more