News and analysis on the implications of brain science

‘Neuromarketing’ claims to make us shop but is it a decent thing to do?

by James Garvey

The Independent | January 26, 2016

By bypassing the brain’s processors and dealing directly with the subconscious, ‘Neuromarketing’ could be prodding us into new purchases. In a new book, James Garvey questions the practitioners’ ethics.

Robert Spitzer, Psychiatrist Who Set Rigorous Standards for Diagnosis, Dies at 83

by Benedict Carey

The New York Times | December 26, 2015

“Bob Spitzer was by far the most influential psychiatrist of his time,” Dr. Allen J. Frances, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke University and editor of a later edition of the manual, said in an email. “He saved the field and its millions of patients from a crisis of credibility, raising its scientific standards and rescuing it from the arbitrariness of warring and unsupported opinions.”

Science and the Law

The Royal Society | December 1, 2015

The first Neuroscience and the Law seminar, sponsored by the Dana Foundation, took place on November 24. Read a transcript of the lecture given by Lord Neuberger, President of the UK Supreme Court, who discussed his relationship with science, and the role of science within the UK’s legal system.

Where to Draw the Line on Gene-Editing Technology

by Jonathan D. Moreno

Scientific American | November 30, 2015

New techniques that could make germline genetic engineering unprecedentedly easy are forcing policymakers to confront the ethical implications of moving forward.

The Struggle for Consciousness

by Moheb Costandi

Dana Foundation | November 9, 2015

Connection to community and family should be a patient’s right, whether that person is fully conscious or minimally conscious, argued researcher Joseph Fins at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.

Failure to Replicate: Sound the Alarm

by John P.A. Ioannidis, M.D.

Cerebrum | November 2, 2015

The most comprehensive investigation ever done about the rate and predictors of reproducibility in social and cognitive sciences has found that regardless of the analytic method or criteria used, fewer than half of the original findings were successfully replicated.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

by Seimi Rurup

Dana Foundation Blog | October 27, 2015

Numerous questions need to be asked about the U.S. prison system's treatment of the mentally ill, said panelists at the International Neuroethics Society annual meeting.

Global Mental Health

by Ann Whitman

Dana Foundation Blog | October 18, 2015

“The burden of mental disorders is enormous, under-appreciated, and under-resourced, said epidemiologist Hans-Ulrich Wittchen at a panel on global mental health at the International Neuroethics Society annual meeting.

SfN Dialogues Lecture: Neuroscience’s Role in the Courts

by Bill Glovin

Dana Foundation Blog | October 17, 2015

Senior U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff spoke on “Neuroscience and the Law: Strange Bedfellows,” the Dialogues Between Neuroscience and Society lecture at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) annual meeting in Chicago. The session, moderated by SfN President and Dana board member Steven Hyman, featured a 30-minute talk and more than an hour of questions from Hyman and an audience of a few thousand in the McCormick Center’s main lecture hall.

Is Professional Football Safe?

by Ann Whitman

Dana Foundation Blog | October 16, 2015

A large study undertaken by Harvard and funded by the NFL players union hopes to bring some clarity to the question: Is professional football safe? Leaders involved in the study spoke at the kick-off event of the International Neuroethics Society annual meeting.

International Neurothics Society 2015 Meeting: The Rise of Mental Health Disorders

by Carson Martinez

Dana Foundation Blog | August 24, 2015

As mental health issues become increasingly prevalent, there is an urgent need to better understand their ethical, legal, and societal implications, including increasing access to treatment, reducing stigmas, and implementing neuroscience research.

A Cap that Treats Depression? Check the Science Before Getting Excited

by Dean Burnett

The Guardian | August 18, 2015

When scientific breakthroughs are reported, no matter how exciting, journalists and readers alike need to cut through the hype and look at the evidence

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