Implications of the Inverted U Phenomenon for the Bioethical Principle of Justice in the Context of Pharmacological Cognitive Enhancement

Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 5 (3):65-74 (2018)
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At the present time there is a boom in the use of pharmacological cognitive enhancers (PCEs) particularly within an academic and labor context. Numerous objections to the use of this medicines arise in the context of Neuroethics, being one of the most important, the principle of justice. Among the most prevalent arguments put forward it is noted the disturbance of distributive justice and competitive fairness. Succinctly it is established that hypothetical PCEs without adverse effects could promote the social fragmentation by favoring economically dominant classes. However, it has been experimentally observed that PCEs present benefits ruled by the inverted U phenomenon, where cognitive benefits given by these medicines are not dose-dependent and have dependence on the baseline performance. Producing bigger benefits in individuals that initially had a worst performance. In this way the use of PCEs, assuming a context of open-access, could contribute to social equity and distributive justice.

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