Hot Topics: Neuroethics

Blog Posts (38)

July 1, 2018

A Few Words on the Saga of Jahi McMath

by James Zisfein, MD
A few words on the saga of Jahi McMath, the teenager who became brain dead from a surgical complication, whose family refused to accept that determination, and whose heart has stopped and is now dead by everyone’s definition:
The fact of McMath’s death over 4 years ago should not be in question.…
May 23, 2017

Dear Mr. President: It’s Time for Your Bioethics Commission

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Last week, seven Democratic members of the U.S. House Representatives sent a letter to the White House asking President Trump to appoint a director to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), position that normally serves as the presidential science advisor.…

June 1, 2016

Should we medicate healthy children to fight social inequality?

by Sebastian Sattler, PhD

A proposed solution seeks a quick fix, without tackling the deep roots of the problem.

It’s a statistic that seems almost unbelievable: the richest one percent now has more wealth than the rest of the world combined, according to an Oxfam report.…

March 28, 2016

In Defense of Intuition- Or, a Lesson for Empirical Bioethics

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

On March 17, 2016 philosopher Peter Railton delivered the Ethics, Politics, and Society lecture at Rice University.…

June 15, 2015

Welcoming the Concept of Alief to Medical Ethics

Welcoming the Concept of Alief to Medical Ethics

 by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

Philosopher Tamar Gendler has introduced (circa 2008) a new concept in the philosophical literature that could be of interest to medical ethicists.…

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 »

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Published Articles (112)

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 18 Issue 3 - Sep 2018

Telling the Truth About Pain: Informed Consent and the Role of Expectation in Pain Intensity Nada Gligorov

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 18 Issue 3 - Sep 2018

Punishing Intentions and Neurointerventions David Birks & Alena Buyx

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 18 Issue 3 - Sep 2018

Neurointerventions: Punishment, Mental Integrity, and Intentions Peter Vallentyne

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 9 Issue 2 - Jun 2018

How acceptable is paternalism? A survey-based study of clinician and nonclinician opinions on paternalistic decision making Kunal Bailoor, Thomas Valley, Chithra Perumalswami, Andrew G. Shuman, Raymond DeVries & Darin B. Zahuranec

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 9 Issue 1 - Mar 2018

Disorders of Consciousness, Agency, and Health Care Decision Making: Lessons From a Developmental Model Megan S. Wright, Claudia Kraft, Michael R. Ulrich & Joseph J. Fins

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 9 Issue 1 - Mar 2018

The Impact of a Landmark Neuroscience Study on Free Will: A Qualitative Analysis of Articles Using Libet and Colleagues' Methods Victoria Saigle, Veljko Dubljević & Eric Racine

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 9 Issue 1 - Mar 2018

When Does Consciousness Matter? Lessons From the Minimally Conscious State Joseph Vukov

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 9 Issue 1 - Mar 2018

Temporal Naturalism, Free Will, and the Cartesian Myth: Time Is NOT Illusory and We Are NOT ‘Talking Heads’ Gary Goldberg

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 1 - Mar 2018

Would you be willing to zap your child's brain? Public perspectives on parental responsibilities and the ethics of enhancing children with transcranial direct current stimulation Katy Wagner, Hannah Maslen, Justin Oakley & Julian Savulescu

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 8 Issue 4 - Nov 2017

Ahead of Our Time: Why Head Transplantation Is Ethically Unsupportable Paul Root Wolpe

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News (434)

August 15, 2018 9:00 am

Psychologists keep policy on U.S. detainees, but issue remains open wound (Science)

The American Psychological Association (APA) in Washington, D.C., has decided to retain a policy banning military psychologists from working with detainees at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and other national security detention facilities. But the political machinations surrounding a decisive vote this week by APA’s governing body suggest the 115,000-member organization is still far from resolving a decadelong debate over the ethical rules of conduct for psychologists in the U.S. government’s ongoing war against terrorism.

July 31, 2018 3:00 am

Experimental Alzheimer's drug stirs hope after early trials (CNN)

After a series of prominent failures, there’s reason to be hopeful in the search for a drug to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Results of an early trial of an experimental drug showed that it improved cognition and reduced clinical signs of Alzheimer’s in the brains of study participants, and experts are “cautiously optimistic” that the results will be duplicated in future clinical trials.

July 24, 2018 4:44 am

Antidepressant prescriptions for children on the rise (BBC News)

Dr Bernadka Dubicka, who chairs the child and adolescent faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Currently only one in four children and young people are treated for their mental health problems. “The fact that prescriptions for antidepressants are rising could reflect a slow but steady move towards treating everyone who is unwell.

July 2, 2018 3:33 pm

Jahi McMath’s sad saga comes to an end (Mercury News)

Jahi McMath, the Oakland teen whose brain-death case captivated the world while machines kept her breathing, was finally removed from those machines on June 22 in New Jersey after suffering from internal bleeding and kidney issues

June 26, 2018 3:49 am

Hundreds of new genes may underlie intelligence—but also autism and depression (Science)

Being smart is a double-edged sword. Intelligent people appear to live longer, but many of the genes behind brilliance can also lead to autism, anxiety, and depression, according to two new massive genetic studies. The work also is one of the first to identify the specific cell types and genetic pathways tied to intelligence and mental health, potentially paving the way for new ways to improve education, or therapies to treat neurotic behavior.

May 9, 2018 12:00 pm

Which Anti-Depressant Is Right for You? Your DNA Can Shed Some Light (Washington Post)

Genomics is coming to psychiatry, with some doctors using a gene test to figure out the most effective anti-depressant for a patient.

March 21, 2018 9:00 am

U.K. attack shines spotlight on deadly nerve agent developed by Soviet scientists (Science)

One of the world’s deadliest poisons has emerged from the shadows after the audacious attempt earlier this month to murder a former Russian spy on U.K. soil. Scientists are racing to unravel why the mysterious nerve agent, concocted by Soviet chemists in the 1970s, is so potent.

March 1, 2018 9:00 am

Sex and drugs and self-control: how the teen brain navigates risk (Nature)

It’s not just about rebellion. Neuroscience is revealing adolescents’ rich and nuanced relationship with risky behavior.

August 4, 2017 9:00 am

Chimpanzees are first animal shown to develop telltale markers of Alzheimer's disease (Nature)

Aged chimpanzees develop brain characteristics that are similar — but not identical — to those seen in early Alzheimer’s disease in humans, researchers report on 1 August in Neurobiology of Aging. The findings from humanity’s closest relatives could help researchers to understand why people develop dementia, as well as suggest that caretakers of aging, captive chimpanzees watch them closely for behavioural changes.

July 28, 2017 9:00 am

Ninety-nine percent of ailing NFL player brains sport hallmarks of neurodegenerative disease, autopsy study finds (Science)

The largest study of its kind has found damage in the vast majority of former football players’ brains donated for research after they developed mental symptoms during life. Of 202 former players of the U.S. version of the game whose brains were examined, 87% showed the diagnostic signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head trauma.

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