Hot Topics: Neuroethics

Blog Posts (33)

April 27, 2015

Unenhanced Thoughts about Neural Enhancement

An April 20th post in the Hastings Center’s “Bioethics Forum” brings attention the recent report by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (PCSBI) entitled, “Gray Matters: Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.” Chapter 2, “Cognitive Enhancement and Beyond” is a useful summary of issues surrounding “cognitive enhancement,” and provides a brief overview of three scientific goals: maintaining or improving... // Read More »
March 30, 2015

Head Transplants, Personal Identity, and Derek Parfit

by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

In a recent article in New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530103.700-first-human-head-transplant-could-happen-in-two-years.html?full=true#.VRbZpUJ3XuV), Italian neurologist Sergio Canavero claims that the first human head transplant could occur as early as 2017.…

March 25, 2015

A Pill for Compassion or Misunderstood Science?

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

For at least a decade, studies have shown that empathy and compassion decline in medical students.…

October 14, 2014

Cognitive (neuro)science and bioethics

by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

In a recent article in Ethics, “Beyond Point-and-Shoot Morality: Why Cognitive (Neuro)Science Matters for Ethics,” Josh Greene argues that empirical research in moral judgment has significant relevance for normative ethics in that it (1) exposes the inner workings of our moral judgments, revealing that we should have less confidence in some of our judgments and the ethical theories that are based on them, and (2) informs us of where we tend to rely on intuition or automatic processing (which is often heavily emotive), but ought to rely more manual, controlled processing (such as consequentialist reasoning).…

September 9, 2014

What Should We Forget?

In January MIT announced a research study published in the journal Cell that reported a way to erase traumatic memories in lab mice using a drug that makes the brain “more plastic, more capable of forming very strong new memories that will override the old fearful memories.” MIT opened its story by referring to “nearly 8 million Americans [who] suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD),”... // Read More »
April 29, 2014

The Price of Consciousness

<p>Earlier this month, the New York Times (NYT) reported on individuals in a minimally conscious state (MCS). Although the article headed: ‘<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/health/pet-scans-found-to-clarify-vegetative-state.html">PET Scans offer clues on Vegetative States</a>’, its contents addressed the technologies around MCS: a ‘<a href="https://www.neurology.org/content/58/3/349.full">newly</a>’ diagnosed state of consciousness. The paper commented that PET scans would be more beneficial than functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (functional M.R.I.) in diagnosing this state. Around the same time, the NYT published a paper that headed: ‘<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/18/business/treatment-cost-could-influence-doctors-advice.html">Cost of treatment may influence doctors</a>’. This paper quoted a doc saying: “There should be forces in society who should be concerned about the budget, about how many M.R.I.s we do, but they shouldn’t be functioning simultaneously as doctors,”</p> <p>In this blog post I want to focus on the cost and price of consciousness. I do not only want to focus on the economic costs, but also on costs in a more holistic sense, including the psychological and emotional costs. In the end, I want to ask you: how much is consciousness worth to you?</p> <p><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="text-decoration: underline; color: #000099;" href="http://www.amc.edu/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.bvg</strong></p>
April 11, 2014

What Price Immortality? Privately Funded Projects and the Prolongation of Life

By Richard Koo, Bioethics Program Alum (MS Bioethics 2011) and Adjunct Faculty Seemingly ripped from the covers of comic books, no less than three privately funded projects seeking the prolongation of human life have been publicized in the past year. The 2045 Initiative, dubbed “the Avatar Project”, is arguably the most futuristic and non-traditional of the […]
April 11, 2014

What Price Immortality? Privately Funded Projects and the Prolongation of Life

By Richard Koo, Bioethics Program Alum (MS Bioethics 2011) and Adjunct Faculty Seemingly ripped from the covers of comic books, no less than three privately funded projects seeking the prolongation of human life have been publicized in the past year. The 2045 Initiative, dubbed “the Avatar Project”, is arguably the most futuristic and non-traditional of the […]
September 4, 2013

Media Meld: Science, Credit and Peer-Review

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Last week, a research team at the University of Washington announced what they jokingly refered to as a “Vulcan mind meld.” For those of you who are not Star Trek aficionados, that fictional process is where a Vulcan can reach into the mind of another Vulcan or human to understand and read that other mind.…

August 30, 2013

Faster Than the Speed of Thought

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the 1983 comedic film, The Man with Two Brains,”  Steve Martin’s character falls in love with a female brain preserved in a jar.…

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Published Articles (79)

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 5 Issue 2 - Mar 2014

Controlling Bias in Forensic Radiology Carolyn Meltzer & John Banja

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 5 Issue 2 - Mar 2014

Brain Imaging in the Courtroom: The Quest for Legal Relevance Stephen J. Morse

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 5 Issue 2 - Mar 2014

Daubert, Frye and DTI: Hijacking the Right to Trial by Jury William G. Jungbauer & Christopher W. Bowman

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 5 Issue 2 - Mar 2014

The Potential for Medicolegal Abuse: Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Traumatic Brain Injury Hal S. Wortzel, A. John Tsiouris & Christopher G. Filippi

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 5 Issue 2 - Mar 2014

Neuroimaging, Expert Witnesses, and Ethics: Convergence and Conflict in the Courtroom Leonard Berlin

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 5 Issue 2 - Mar 2014

If You Have Any Questions or Concerns, Please Contact… Peter Kalina

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 5 Issue 1 - Jan 2014

Thinking Ahead on Deep Brain Stimulation: An Analysis of the Ethical Implications of a Developing Technology Veronica Johansson, Martin Garwicz, Martin Kanje , Lena Halldenius & Jens Schouenborg

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 5 Issue 1 - Jan 2014

Brave New Love: The Threat of High-Tech “Conversion” Therapy and the Bio-Oppression of Sexual Minorities Brian D. Earp, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 5 Issue 1 - Jan 2014

A Technological Fix for the Self? How Neurotechnologies Shape Who We Are and Whom We Love Felicitas Kraemer

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 11 - Nov 2013

If I Could Just Stop Loving You: Anti-Love Biotechnology and the Ethics of a Chemical Breakup Brian D. Earp, Olga A. Wudarczyk, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu

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News (414)

May 8, 2015 7:09 pm

Healthy diet tied to lower risk of cognitive decline

Older people who eat healthy, with more fruits and vegetables, nuts and fish in their diets, may be less likely to experience declines in thinking and memory over time, according to a new international study.

April 15, 2015 2:06 pm

Is the placebo effect in some people’s genes?

Some people may be genetically programmed to feel better after taking placebo pills, while others may only heal with real drugs, suggests a new review of existing research.

April 8, 2015 1:08 pm

Higher purpose in life tied to better brain health

People with a high sense of purpose in life have a lower risk of stroke, according to new research.

April 2, 2015 4:28 pm

On World Autism Awareness Day, Thoughts On Parenting A Son With Autism

Difference is inevitable in nature and in life. Difference is not just inevitable — it’s also good. It makes our ecosystems evolve, it makes our societies grow and change and it makes us, as individuals, adapt and become stronger.

March 10, 2015 6:43 pm

Electric 'noise' treats Parkinson's symptoms

A wearable device that stimulates the sense of balance with electric “noise” could help Parkinson’s disease patients, according to Swedish scientists.

February 26, 2015 6:20 pm

Doctor Seeking To Perform Head Transplant Is Out Of His Mind

Scientifically what Canavero wants to do cannot yet be done. It may never be doable.

January 13, 2015 12:50 pm

Computers 'judge personality better than friends

Computers can be better at predicting our personality than our friends and family, an experiment with tens of thousands of volunteers has indicated.

November 17, 2014 6:37 pm

Schools’ preparedness for kids after concussion can vary

When kids are ready to resume classes after being out for a concussion, schools’ preparedness to handle them can vary widely, a new study suggests.

October 6, 2014 12:44 pm

Nobel prize in medicine awarded for discovery of brain’s ‘GPS’

Three scientists, including a husband-and-wife team, have been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine for deciphering the mechanism in the brain that allows us to find our way around.

September 22, 2014 4:17 pm

A brain wave test could diagnose autistic kids more accurately — and earlier

A person poses with an electro-encephalography (EEG) cap, which measures brain activity, at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen near Munich. Autism researchers found promising signs that an EEG can be used to detect symptoms of autism in children and adolescents.

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