Neuro-Futures: The Brain, Politics, and Power

by Jake Dunagan


This paper takes the human brain as the central site in rapidly changing political, economic, and ethical landscapes. Advancing neural technologies are shaking the foundations of self and society. The architecture and functioning of our brains are becoming a matter of choice. Understanding the background and implications of this choice might help us avoid using technology to optimize ideologically narrow and economically dictated brain functions. Emerging cyborg and posthuman subjectivities are potential threats to established human orders, but are still politically ambiguous. The governance of cognitive enhancement, mind-machine interface, and neural imaging marks a shift in the boundaries of state control and suggests new modalities of power. These issues are complex, but we are all stakeholders in brain futures.

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