Hot Topics: Neuroethics

Blog Posts (28)

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.…

February 7, 2013

AJOB Neuroscience 2013 issue 1 is here!!!

This year’s first issue of
AJOB Neuroscience includes:

COGNITIVE ENHANCEMENT AND EMOTION

RECONSIDERING DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION

MINIMALLY CONSCIOUS AND END-OF-LIFE CARE

July 31, 2012

Patenting (part of) the brain?

I have recently become aware of the news that a company has patented regional brain responses to “appeal” and “engagement”. Through the scarcity of the material presented, it is really hard to get an idea of what the patent really entails. But from the sound of it, we are suggested that the patent is about […]
March 9, 2012

DIY mobile EEG – real-time tracking in the store

OK here goes. A brief time ago we recorded real-time EEG while a person walked and shopped in a grocery store. An abbreviated version of the movie can be seen here. As you can see, besides the large frame showing what the person is oriented towards (although there is no eye-tracking) the smaller right hand […]
October 28, 2011

Creative Machines: Tomorrow’s Possibilities, Today’s Responsibilities

The issue that lurks right over the horizon of possibility is whether increasing complexification in generatively encoded “intelligent machines” could instantiate some form of consciousness.  I argue that the most probable answer is “yes”. The system would become auto-referential, and … Continue reading
October 18, 2011

Genetic Testing for the Injury Prone

Professional soccer teams (football to the rest of the world) are using high-powered science to give them a competitive edge. The most recent venture into the world of professional sport and science involves an “unnamed Premier League club” [that] has commissioned Yale University scientists to genetically test its players and attempt to identify genetic indicators that can serve as a warning sign to whether an athlete is prone to injury.” According to Bleacher Report, scientists claim that there are more than 100 genetic factors linked to being prone to injury.…

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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 (402)

June 24, 2014 1:07 pm

It's time to get your brain in shape

From the outside, the human brain might not be much to look at. What makes it fascinating is hidden within, in the complicated circuitry of neurons that makes you who you are.

June 9, 2014 1:21 pm

Military Funds Brain-Computer Interfaces to Control Feelings

Researcher Jose Carmena has worked for years training macaque monkeys to move computer cursors and robotic limbs with their minds. He does so by implanting electrodes into their brains to monitor neural activity.

June 6, 2014 1:39 pm

The National Institutes of Health is Working to Launch the BRAIN Initiative

About a year ago, President Obama announced the “launch” of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The National Institutes of Health approved an agenda and new funding plan on Thursday.

May 27, 2014 6:35 pm

New Venture Aims to Understand and Heal Disrupted Brain Circuitry to Treat Mental Illnesses

Scientists and physicians at UC San Francisco are leading a $26 million, multi-institutional research program in which they will employ advanced technology to characterize human brain networks and better understand and treat a range of common, debilitating psychiatric disorders, focusing first on anxiety disorders and major depression.

May 20, 2014 1:49 pm

Here come the rice-grain-sized brain implants: Stanford discovers way of beaming power to microimplants deep inside your body

Stanford electrical engineer and biological implant mastermind, Ada Poon, has discovered a way of wirelessly transmitting power to tiny, rice-grain-sized implants that are deep within the human body.

May 19, 2014 2:46 pm

The Ethics of Erasing Bad Memories

Though the emerging possibility of deleting traumatic memories could provide some people relief, the question remains whether it would fundamentally change who they are.

May 8, 2014 5:50 pm

Yawning alot? It's just your body trying to regulate your brain temperature

First we were told yawning meant we were tired. Then it was claimed yawning was the body’s mechanism to keep us awake. Now a new study says yawning cools the brain.

April 29, 2014 4:05 pm

International Stem Cell Corporation Announces Positive Parkinson's Disease Data

a California-based biotechnology company announced today that some behavioral improvements have been observed after six months in the pre-clinical non-human primate (NHP) study of Parkinson’s disease .

April 25, 2014 1:53 pm

Higher Education Associated With Better Recovery From Traumatic Brain Injury

Better-educated people appear to be significantly more likely to recover from a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), suggesting that a brain’s “cognitive reserve” may play a role in helping people get back to their previous lives, new Johns Hopkins research shows.

April 1, 2014 5:18 pm

Spite Is Good. Spite Works.

The “Iliad” may be a giant of Western literature, yet its plot hinges on a human impulse normally thought petty: spite.

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