» Neuroethics Where the World Finds Bioethics Tue, 28 Jun 2016 12:31:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Should we medicate healthy children to fight social inequality? Wed, 01 Jun 2016 18:53:23 +0000 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. Inequality exists between nations such as Great Britain and Sudan, within different social strata in countries such as the United States, and on lower levels of societal entities, like within the city of Chicago.…

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Antimicrobial Mechanism Gone Rogue May Play Role in Alzheimer’s Disease Thu, 26 May 2016 13:15:23 +0000 0 Not Just “Study Drugs” for the Rich: Stimulants as Moral Tools for Creating Opportunities for Socially Disadvantaged Students Tue, 24 May 2016 20:27:19 +0000 0 Biases and Heuristics in Decision Making and Their Impact on Autonomy Tue, 26 Apr 2016 19:58:20 +0000 0 Inference and Inductive Risk in Disorders of Consciousness Wed, 06 Apr 2016 20:54:20 +0000 0 Ethical Challenges of Simulation-Driven Big Neuroscience Wed, 06 Apr 2016 20:52:36 +0000 0 In Defense of Intuition- Or, a Lesson for Empirical Bioethics Mon, 28 Mar 2016 16:30:28 +0000 by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

On March 17, 2016 philosopher Peter Railton delivered the Ethics, Politics, and Society lecture at Rice University. Railton is Gregory S. Kavka Distinguished University Professor, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and John Stephenson Perrin Professor at The University of Michigan. His talk was titled, “Homo prospectus: A new perspective on the mind.”

Railton’s main aim was to counter a current trend in the social sciences that involves a distrust of our intuitive responses to the world. This skepticism has crept into moral philosophy as the empirical literature showing the effects of various framing effects on moral judgments increases.…

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Landmark schizophrenia study expands on gene link, timing Fri, 29 Jan 2016 16:08:38 +0000 0 Can monkeys help unravel the mysteries of autism? Thu, 28 Jan 2016 18:07:16 +0000 0 Pets on Prozac: Dogs Take Medication to Help with Separation Anxiety Mon, 25 Jan 2016 21:10:52 +0000 0 Darpa ‘already implanting chips in brains of wounded US soldiers returning from Middle East’ Thu, 21 Jan 2016 20:33:25 +0000 0 New: 87 Deceased NFL Players Test Positive for Brain Disease Fri, 18 Sep 2015 21:38:11 +0000 0 Scientists Demonstrate Animal Mind-Melds Fri, 10 Jul 2015 21:23:43 +0000 0 Brain implant trials raise ethical concerns Thu, 18 Jun 2015 17:53:24 +0000 0 Welcoming the Concept of Alief to Medical Ethics Mon, 15 Jun 2015 06:33:28 +0000 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. The concept is that of ‘alief’ and it is meant to contrast with the concept of ‘belief.’ An example Gendler discusses to tease out the difference between the two concepts is the example of a woman who believes African American and Caucasian people to be of equal intelligence, yet in her behavioral responses it seems as if she believes differently (e.g., she is more surprised when an African American student of hers makes an intelligent comment than she is when a Caucasian student does, she more quickly associates intelligence with her Caucasian students, when grading exams she might grade the same quality exam differently if written by an African American student than a Caucasian student, etc.).…

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Healthy diet tied to lower risk of cognitive decline Fri, 08 May 2015 23:09:11 +0000 0 Unenhanced Thoughts about Neural Enhancement Tue, 28 Apr 2015 01:53:28 +0000 Read More »]]> 0 Is the placebo effect in some people’s genes? Wed, 15 Apr 2015 18:06:21 +0000 0 Higher purpose in life tied to better brain health Wed, 08 Apr 2015 17:08:07 +0000 0 On World Autism Awareness Day, Thoughts On Parenting A Son With Autism Thu, 02 Apr 2015 20:28:57 +0000 0 Head Transplants, Personal Identity, and Derek Parfit Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:26:43 +0000 by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

In a recent article in New Scientist (, Italian neurologist Sergio Canavero claims that the first human head transplant could occur as early as 2017. He plans to announce his project at the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons conference in June. Here I set aside assessment of the scientific and medical merit behind this plan (though it is of note that this procedure was performed on a monkey who lived for 8 days), and I also set aside assessment of the broader ethical issues associated with this idea, and focus more narrowly on the issue of personal identity—though personal identity is of course an ethical issue as well as a metaphysical one.…

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A Pill for Compassion or Misunderstood Science? Wed, 25 Mar 2015 06:36:37 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

For at least a decade, studies have shown that empathy and compassion decline in medical students. The response is often more curricula dedicated to ethics, humanities, communication skills, and patient contact. But what if the answer was simply medicating the students.

An article in Time magazine reported that a study from researchers at the University of California Berkeley and University of California San Francisco have found “that by manipulating a brain chemical, people can become more compassionate and act in prosocial ways to equalize differences.”

Compassion is “a sympathetic consciousness of other’s distress with a desire to alleviate it.” According to the article, the study of 35 subjects found that when taking a drug a person’s desire to alleviate inequity increased.…

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Electric ‘noise’ treats Parkinson’s symptoms Tue, 10 Mar 2015 22:43:03 +0000 0 Doctor Seeking To Perform Head Transplant Is Out Of His Mind Thu, 26 Feb 2015 23:20:41 +0000 0 Computers ‘judge personality better than friends Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:50:19 +0000 0 Schools’ preparedness for kids after concussion can vary Mon, 17 Nov 2014 23:37:53 +0000 0 Cognitive (neuro)science and bioethics Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:23:46 +0000 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).…

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Nobel prize in medicine awarded for discovery of brain’s ‘GPS’ Mon, 06 Oct 2014 16:44:28 +0000 0 A brain wave test could diagnose autistic kids more accurately — and earlier Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:17:56 +0000 0 What Should We Forget? Wed, 10 Sep 2014 00:55:22 +0000 Read More »]]> 0 Study: Dogs Experience Jealousy Emotion Too Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:18:52 +0000 0 Schizophrenia Linked to 108 Genes Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:29:39 +0000 0 It’s time to get your brain in shape Tue, 24 Jun 2014 17:07:32 +0000 0 Military Funds Brain-Computer Interfaces to Control Feelings Mon, 09 Jun 2014 17:21:16 +0000 0 The National Institutes of Health is Working to Launch the BRAIN Initiative Fri, 06 Jun 2014 17:39:33 +0000 0 New Venture Aims to Understand and Heal Disrupted Brain Circuitry to Treat Mental Illnesses Tue, 27 May 2014 22:35:44 +0000 0 Here come the rice-grain-sized brain implants: Stanford discovers way of beaming power to microimplants deep inside your body Tue, 20 May 2014 17:49:40 +0000 0 The Ethics of Erasing Bad Memories Mon, 19 May 2014 18:46:07 +0000 0 Yawning alot? It’s just your body trying to regulate your brain temperature Thu, 08 May 2014 21:50:43 +0000 0 International Stem Cell Corporation Announces Positive Parkinson’s Disease Data Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:05:13 +0000 0 The Price of Consciousness Tue, 29 Apr 2014 07:04:25 +0000 0 Higher Education Associated With Better Recovery From Traumatic Brain Injury Fri, 25 Apr 2014 17:53:30 +0000 0 What Price Immortality? Privately Funded Projects and the Prolongation of Life Fri, 11 Apr 2014 12:48:51 +0000 ]]> 0 What Price Immortality? Privately Funded Projects and the Prolongation of Life Fri, 11 Apr 2014 12:48:51 +0000 ]]> 0 Spite Is Good. Spite Works. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 21:18:52 +0000 0 Human Faces Can Express at Least 21 Distinct Emotions Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:57:59 +0000 0 CDC: 1 in 68 U.S. children has autism Thu, 27 Mar 2014 21:38:05 +0000 0 How your brain makes moral judgments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:00:48 +0000 0 Controlling Bias in Forensic Radiology Sat, 01 Mar 2014 20:48:13 +0000 0 Brain Imaging in the Courtroom: The Quest for Legal Relevance Sat, 01 Mar 2014 20:46:33 +0000 0