Neuroscience and Cognition

General organology discusses the brain in its imbrication with social and technological organs. The brain is the privileged object of study and experimentation, and of possible manipulation, by the fast-advancing neurosciences. It is also the subject of new experiences and new forms of expression and action in its encounter with the new digital technologies, capable of extending our capacities for surveillance and control. A new form of power, neuropower, may extend, reinforce, and multiply the processes of de-individuation set in motion by the increasing exploitation of our drives by the capitalist machine (as exemplified in the rise of “neuromarketing”). However, the passage from the “reading brain” (Maryanne Wolf) to the “digital brain” (Bernard Stiegler) coupled with the continuing progress of the neurosciences open up the possibility of human “enhancement” as one mode of pursuing our psychic and collective individuation. The unprecedented technological possibilities of enhancement and/or control acting at the level of the central nervous system crystallize the urgency of the ethico-political questions that must be posed by such an organological reflection: How can we comprehend and evaluate the proposed supplementations and modifications to our constituted functioning? Who will benefit from such cognitive and behavioral adjustments? How can we make use of these techniques to further both individual autonomy and social justice?