News and analysis on the implications of brain science

The Pentagon’s Push to Program Soldiers’ Brains

by Michael Joseph Gross

The Atlantic | November 1, 2018

The US military wants future super-soldiers to control robots with their thoughts. What could go wrong?

Ethical Considerations for Emergent Neuroprosthetic Technology

by Emily Sanborn

Neuroethics Blog | October 10, 2018

In the emergence of these technologies, there are ethical issues presented and a question is formed: Are we fixing what is not broken?

Technology and Addiction Take Center Stage at Neuroethics Meeting

by Mo Costandi

Dana Foundation blog | September 27, 2018

A member of the International Neuroethics Society's board gives us a preview of events at the group's annual meeting, in San Diego Nov. 1-2.

Ketamine gives hope to patients with severe depression. But some clinics stray from the science and hype its benefits

by Megan Thielking

STAT | September 24, 2018

Dozens of free-standing clinics have opened across the US in recent years to provide ketamine to patients who are desperate for an effective therapy and hopeful the drug can help. But a STAT investigation found wide-ranging inconsistencies among clinics, from the screening of patients to the dose and frequency of infusions to the coordination with patients’ mental health providers. A number of clinics stray from recommendations issued last year by the American Psychiatric Association.

Integrating Neuroethics and the Law will be Invaluable as Brain Surrogates Develop

by Nita Farahany

International Neuroethics Society | September 12, 2018

"New models using human brain tissue are being developed that are creating better proxies—or representations—of the human brain, that could help us better understand, diagnose, and ultimate treat neurological disorders in humans," Farahany says "But paradoxically, the better the proxies that will be developed, the more challenging the ethical issues become."

The Ethics of Consciousness-Hunting

by Mackenzie Graham

Nautilous | September 6, 2018

With fMRI, we have built a tool to reach patients who we thought had been lost forever. We’ve given them a voice; now we have to listen, the author argues.

What is 'Well'?

by Moheb Costandi | August 28, 2018

What do we mean by "well"? A change in a biomarker? A better test score? A person happily back at work and play? Are we using the right standards when judging whether a psychiatric intervention, such as deep brain stimulation, is working, asked neurologist Helen Mayberg during the EDAB Special Lecture on Neuroethics during the recent hashtag#FENS18 Forum.

Smart AI

by Jonathan Moreno

The Neuroethics Blog | August 28, 2018

Iincremental advances in AI should give us more pause than doomsday scenarios of super-intelligent machines, says Penn prof Jonathan Moreno. We don't need to build Skynet to change the world.

How Can We Tell If a Comatose Patient Is Conscious?

by Anouk Bercht

Scientific American | August 23, 2018

Doctors from all over Europe send their apparently unconscious patients to Steven Laureys—a clinician and researcher at the University of Lige—for comprehensive testing. To provide proper care, physicians and family members need to know whether patients have some degree of awareness. At the same time, these patients add to Laureys’ understanding.

A Dangerous Brain?

by Andrew R. Calderon

Marshall Project | August 14, 2018

Can neuroscience predict how likely someone is to commit another crime?

Is the concept of “will” useful in explaining addictive behaviour?

by Claudia Barned and Eric Racine

Neuroethics Blog | August 7, 2018

In ethics theory and practice, the capacity to act freely and choose alternative courses of action is of chief importance for moral responsibility. Beyond free will and will power, scientists use many other concepts are used to explain the failure of volition in addiction.

Did a blockbuster drug make hundreds gamble compulsively?

by Megan Thielking

Stat | August 2, 2018

A legal fight may decide what science can’t confirm.

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