News and analysis on the implications of brain science

“Addiction itself is not a crime, it’s a disease.”

by The NIDA Blog Team

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Blog | May 18, 2015

The Gloucester, Massachusetts police department has made a policy shift in how it treats drug addicted people who present themselves at a police station.

How Should Society Treat Addiction?

by Moheb Costandi

The Dana Foundation | April 20, 2015

Recent research reveals the neural mechanisms underlying the transition from voluntary to compulsive drug-taking. Scientists and neuroethicists argued what could be done to help people and society during a symposium at the BNA Festival of Neuroscience.

INS Elects Judy Illes to Serve as President

International Neuroethics Society | April 16, 2015

The International Neuroethics Society has elected Judy Illes as its next president, starting her two-year term in February 2016. Illes, a longtime Dana Alliance member is a professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia and Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics.

We Need to Unlock the Brain’s Secrets—Ethically

by Amy Gutmann

March 26, 2015

A new report identifies three critical ethical gaps in neuroscience.

Why Brain Injury Matters In Death Row Cases

by Dr. Anand Veeravagu, M.D., and Tej Azad

The Daily Beast | March 18, 2015

Missouri just executed Cecil Clayton, a man whose prefrontal cortex had been severely damaged in a sawmill accident—a part of the brain responsible for impulse control.

Drugs, Addiction and Freewill: Do Addicted Individuals Have Free Will? Symposium

BNA 2015 Festival of Neuroscience | March 9, 2015

The symposium ‘Drugs, Addiction and Freewill: Do Addicted Individuals Have Free Will?‘ will examine the alteration of neural processes by dopamine and changes by habit formation and compulsivity of neural circuitry. We will also consider how drugs of abuse can lead to compulsive drug taking and addiction, with loss of volition. Finally, we will consider the neuroethics of addiction and to what extent drug addicts have free will. Sponsored by the European Dana Alliance and the International Neuroethics Society, the symposium will be held on April 13 from 8:30am–10:30am at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre in Edinburgh, UK.

Pain Cases May Usher Brain Scans into the Courtroom

by Sara Reardon and Nature magazine

Scientific American | March 2, 2015

Brain scans that measure pain are increasingly being used in personal injury trials, but is the technology reliable?

What Are the Ethics of Using Brain Stimulation Technologies for ‘Enhancement’ in Children?

by Brian D. Earp

Practical Ethics | January 5, 2015

The blog points to a new article looking at non-invasive brain stimulation in children who are healthy (enhancement) and those suffering from a neurological disorder (treatment).

On Revolution: Q&A with Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D.

The Dana Foundation | December 18, 2014

What would the next scientific revolution look like? That's the subject of this month’s Cerebrum article, "You Say You Want a Revolution.” We ask a few questions of co-author Wise Young.

You Say You Want a Revolution?

by Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D., and Patricia Morton, Ph.D.

Cerebrum | December 5, 2014

From the frontlines of spinal cord research, Wise Young and Patricia Morton lean on lessons from the past, their own experience, and events still unfolding as they raise questions about the future of all scientific research.

New Open-Access Journal Call for Papers

Journal of Science and Law | November 23, 2014

A new journal, Journal of Science and Law, has announced a call for papers. From its website: “The journal is open-access, with all articles available for free at Because we are an online journal, we are de-emphasizing word limits in deference to quality: articles should be as long as they need to be (but no longer). We publish Original Research Articles, Reviews, Opinions, and occasionally, Book Reviews. Papers are published on a rolling basis as soon as they are accepted.”

Neuroscience and Human Rights

by Ann Whitman

Dana Foundation Blog | November 16, 2014

Can human rights principles and neuroethics become more integrated in future discourse? A report from the 2014 International Neuroethics Society annual meeting.

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