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Human Performance OptimizationThe Science and Ethics of Enhancing Human Capabilities$
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Michael D. Matthews and David M. Schnyer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190455132

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190455132.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2020

Enhancing Human Cognitive Capital by Harnessing the Brain’s Inherent Neuroplasticity

Enhancing Human Cognitive Capital by Harnessing the Brain’s Inherent Neuroplasticity

(p.260) 12 Enhancing Human Cognitive Capital by Harnessing the Brain’s Inherent Neuroplasticity
Human Performance Optimization

Sandra B. Chapman

Lori G. Cook

Asha K. Vas

Ian H. Robertson

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the capability to enhance human cognitive performance (i.e., cognitive capital) through training, with the down-range goal of improving functionality in contexts of great complexity, including military/political operations, corporate directions, and educational preparation. It highlights a multidimensional framework to measure gains in cognitive capital on brain, cognitive, psychological, life-functionality, and emotional-cognition factors. To illustrate the potential to harness neuroplasticity, the chapter summarizes evidence showing improved agility and focus from a specific cognitive training that targets strategic thinking (e.g., filter/focus, big picture thinking, innovation). This chapter also adds to the notion of increasing peak performance utilizing moderate stress levels to boost responses. Optimizing performance in continually changing and stressful environments relies on strengthening human cognitive capital in the healthy brain across the life span—similar to that achieved for physical fitness.

Keywords:   brain enhancement, cognitive training, peak performance, strategic thinking, stress response

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