The Regulation of cognitive enhancement devices: refining Maslen et al.'s model

Hannah Maslen, Thomas Douglas, Roi Cohen Kadosh, Neil Levy, Julian Savulescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Our (2014) model for the regulation of cognitive enhancement devices (CEDs) received a great deal of interest from those involved in European device regulation and from academic commentators. Further, since the publication of our recommendations, the number of manufacturers of brain stimulation devices for non-medical purposes has increased, underscoring the need for a regulatory response. In this paper, we clarify aspects of our original proposal and address additional regulatory issues beyond our original focus on the sale of devices. We begin with theoretical points pertaining to the definition of a CED and the distinction between treatment and enhancement. We then respond to practical challenges raised by the prospect of implementing our regulatory framework. Next, we address some wider societal considerations relating to users and other stakeholders. Finally, we revisit the broader regulatory context within which the various discussions are situated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-767
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Law and the Biosciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • cognitive enhancement devices
  • transcranial direct current stimulation
  • Medical Devices Directive
  • regulation
  • risk-benefit assessment
  • treatment-enhancement distinction


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