News and analysis on the implications of brain science

Neuroscience & the Media

Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues | August 30, 2016

A one-page guide for non-scientists to judge what is true and what is hype in news reports on neuroscience. (PDF)

Mental Alchemy

by Adina Roskies

The Neuroethics Blog | August 23, 2016

Are the concepts we use to investigate cognition and refer to its constructs and processes the “right” ones, the ones we ought to use? Panelists at two recent workshops focused on such “cognitive ontology.”

The Ethics of Using Brain Stimulation to Enhance Learning in Children

by Peter Leistikow

The Neuroethics Blog | August 9, 2016

Because transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) can be used on a developing brain, there exists an opportunity to permanently change the structural organization of a child’s brain. Unfortunately, the promise of early treatment is tempered by the possibility of irreparable damage to the child’s brain.

A Tale of Science, Ethics, Intrigue, and Human Flaws

by Jenni Ogden Ph.D.

Psychology Today | August 9, 2016

By reading both Suzanne Corkin's biography of Henry Molaison, "Permanent Present Tense: The Unforgettable Life of Amnesic Patient, H.M." and Luke Dittrich's "Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets" you will learn much about the history of science, scientific and medical ethics, memory, and most of all human nature, that legacy we are all saddled with.

Should Science Fraudsters Have to Serve Jail Time?

by Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus

STAT | August 4, 2016

Americans seem to favor prison sentences and other stiff penalties for scientists who falsify their data.

My daughter has Down syndrome. Would I "cure" her if I could?

by Amy Julia Becker | August 3, 2016

Personal essay: New research on the brains of people with Down syndrome is raising the possibility of treatment for some of its cognitive effects. The question becomes: As a parent, should I pursue treatments for my daughter, or do I embrace her just as she is?

Will Neuroscience and Law Collide?

by Moheb Costandi

Dana Foundation | July 19, 2016

In his neuroethics lecture at the recent FENS forum, Steven Hyman described how what scientists have learned about conditions like schizophrenia and addiction suggests that they may strip a person’s agency, or “free will.” But data so far don’t yet reach the bar that law demands.

The Plague at Our Doorstep: Ethical Issues Presented by the Zika Virus Outbreak

by Ryan Purcell

The Neuroethics Blog | June 21, 2016

The Zika virus has captured headlines since late 2015, when word spread that a virus, new to the Americas, may be silently causing alarming neurodevelopmental disorders in newborns. As public health officials continue to work to lessen the impact of this "Global Health Emergency," there are several important ethical issues that must be considered.

Neuroethics Essay Contest Submission Deadline Extended to June 30

International Neuroethics Society | June 15, 2016

The deadline for Essay Contest submissions to the 2016 INS Annual Meeting has been extended to June 30 due to overwhelming responses. All post-secondary students enrolled in a degree-granting program at the undergraduate, graduate, or professional level during the 2015–17 academic years—as well as postdocs and residents—are eligible to participate.

The Neuroweapons Threat

by James Giordano

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists | May 31, 2016

While lauding the benefits of neurorobotics for patients, James Giordano urges the need for more discussion on its potential uses in warfare and other nefarious purposes.

Biotech Companies Get Permission to Test Brain Death Reversal

by Jon Fingas

Engadget | May 4, 2016

The trial is a long shot, but it raises the hope of reviving people once thought lost.

Pondering ‘What It Means to Be Human’ on the Frontier of Gene Editing

by Joel Achenbach

The Washington Post | May 3, 2016

As excitement grows for the new gene-editing technology, CRISPR, we’re confronted with the question: “How far should we go in editing the human genome?”

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