News and analysis on the implications of brain science

Testing Philosophy through Experiments

by Abraham Loeb

Scientific American | June 7, 2018

New technologies could shed light on old philosophical questions, such as the nature of the mind and whether moral values reflect universal truth

What is Consciousness?

by Christof Koch

Scientific American | June 1, 2018

Scientists are beginning to unravel a mystery that has long vexed philosophers, argues the author, chief scientist and president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Regulating Minds: A Conceptual Typology

by Michael N. Tennison

Neuroethics Blog | May 15, 2018

The way we classify drugs, Tennison argues, is flawed and too slow to respond to new research. How should it change?

Trust in the Privacy Concerns of Brain Recordings

by Ian Stevens

The Neuroethics Blog | May 8, 2018

Brain recording technologies, such as brain-computer interfaces that collect various types of brain signals from on and around the brain, could be creating privacy vulnerabilities in their users.

What's Wrong With Growing Blobs of Brain Tissue?

by Ed Yong

The Atlantic | April 25, 2018

These increasingly complex organoids aren't conscious—but we might not know when they cross that line.

The ethics of experimenting with human brain tissue

by Nita A. Farahany, Henry T. Greely and 15 colleagues

Nature | April 25, 2018

Difficult questions will be raised as models of the human brain get closer to replicating its functions. To ensure the success and social acceptance of this research long term, an ethical framework must be forged now, while brain surrogates remain in the early stages of development.

Europe divided over robot ‘personhood’

by Janosch Delcker

Politico | April 11, 2018

In a letter to the European Commission, 156 experts from 14 countries warn against adopting EU Parliament proposal.

The Seven Principles for Ethical Consumer Neurotechnologies: How to Develop Consumer Neurotechnologies that Contribute to Human Flourishing

by Karola Kreitmair

Neuroethics Blog | April 3, 2018

The seven principles are: safety, veracity, privacy, epistemic appropriateness, existential authenticity, just distribution, oversight

DNA tests for IQ are coming, but it might not be smart to take one

by Antonio Regalado

MIT Technology Review | April 2, 2018

For psychologists working in genetics, the breakthroughs of the last year have brought DNA prediction of behavior much closer to practical use. In the public square, though, they face a throng of skeptics, who say their science is misleading or who disavow it altogether.

For Many Strokes, There’s an Effective Treatment. Why Aren’t Some Doctors Offering It?

by Gina Kolata

New York Times | March 26, 2018

Two decades ago, a large federal clinical trial proved that a so-called clot-buster drug, tissue plasminogen activator (T.P.A.), could prevent brain injury after a stroke by opening up the blocked vessel. Then and now, a vocal minority of disbelievers has denied people this care.

Can Electrically Stimulating Your Brain Make You Too Happy?

by Lone Frank

The Atlantic | March 21, 2018

When doctors can directly access patients' cerebral reward networks, someone has to decide just how good people should feel.

Yale neuroscientists debunk the idea that anyone is “normal”

by Ephrat Livni

Quartz | March 15, 2018

Normal is a relative state that depends on time, place, and circumstance. There’s no one right way to be a human, and that applies to mental as well as physical states. That’s why neuroscientists are advocating for more recognition of the bizarre normalcy of all complex humans in psychiatry—an argument that can help all of us take a bigger-picture view.

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