Bad Moves: How decision making goes wrong, and the ethics of smart drugs

Paperback | April 14, 2015

byBarbara Sahakian, Jamie Nicole LaBuzetta

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Making decisions is such a regular activity that it is mostly taken for granted. However, damage or abnormality in the areas of the brain involved in decision-making can severely affect personality and the ability to manage even simple tasks. Here, Barbara Sahakian and Jamie Nicole LaBuzetta discuss the process of normal decision making - our strategies for making decisions, biases that affect us, and influential factors - and then describe the abnormal patterns found in patients with conditions such as severe depression, Alzheimer's,and accidental brain damage. Using striking examples and case studies from their own research to show the impact of abnormal decision making, they introduce the concept of "hot" and "cold" decision making based on the level of emotions involved, showing that in various psychiatric conditions extreme emotions alter the patternof decision making. Looking at the ways in which the brain can be manipulated to improve cognitive function in these patients, they consider the use of "smart drugs" that alleviate these problems. The realization that smart drugs can improve cognitive abilities in healthy people has led to growing general use, withdrugs easily available via the Internet. They raise ethical questions about the availability of these drugs for cognitive enhancement, in the hope of informing public debate about an increasingly important issue.

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From the Publisher

Making decisions is such a regular activity that it is mostly taken for granted. However, damage or abnormality in the areas of the brain involved in decision-making can severely affect personality and the ability to manage even simple tasks. Here, Barbara Sahakian and Jamie Nicole LaBuzetta discuss the process of normal decision makin...

Barbara J Sahakian is a world-renowned researcher in the fields of neurology and psychiatry, and is currently based at University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine in the Department of Clinical Neuropsychology. She is co-inventor of the CANTAB computerised neuropsychological tests, which are in use world-wide. She is probably b...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.68 inPublished:April 14, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199668485

ISBN - 13:9780199668489

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Life Choices2. Peering Inside the 'Black Box'3. Extreme Emotions and Risky Behaviour4. Interventions - Drugs Hit the Press5. Professor's Little Helper - The Ethics of Enhanced CognitionConcluding ThoughtsReferences

Editorial Reviews

"With this accessible primer, full of medical anecdotes and clear explanations, Sahakian and Labuzetta prepare the public for an informed discussion about the role of drugs in our society." --Nature 25/04/2013