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Neuroethics

Edited by L. Syd M Johnson (Michigan Technological University)
About this topic
Summary Neuroethics is a nascent subdiscipline that has emerged out of bioethics and neuroscience to consider both the ethical and metaphysical implications of neuroscience, particularly recent developments in neuroetechnology. The scope of neuroethics is broad and heterogeneous, and the field is sometimes bifurcated into "the ethics of neuroscience" and "the neuroscience of ethics." Specific areas of neuroethical interest include: cognitive enhancement, disorders of consciousness and neurological impairment, psychiatric disorders, brain imaging, free will/moral responsibility, and addiction, and the neuroscientific study of morality and decision-making.
Key works The broad scope of neuroethics defies a concise bibliography. Moreover, while there is overlap in some foci of neuroethics, there are also regions that stand apart. This article reflects neuroethics' origins as a subdiscipline of bioethics by examining ethical issues in clinical neuroscience (Glannon 2011). The moral significance of consciousness (Kahane & Savulescu 2009), and the role of neuroscience in illuminating the "problem of other minds" with respect to brain damage, and nonhuman animals (Farah 2008) is a subject with an extensive literature. Works on issues related to control, responsibility, freedom, and addiction include Hall 2003 and Glannon 2013Persson & Savulescu 2008 proposes both cognitive and moral enhancement. The neuroscience of ethics overlaps considerably with the work of experimental philosophers, e.g. Knobe 2003Greene unknown, and Appiah 2008.
Introductions For a general introductions to neuroethics, see Illes & Sahakian 2011 and Levy 2009.
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  1. Nicole A. Vincent (2014). Neurolaw and Direct Brain Interventions. Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (1):43-50.
    This issue of Criminal Law and Philosophy contains three papers on a topic of increasing importance within the field of “neurolaw”—namely, the implications for criminal law of direct brain intervention based mind altering techniques (DBI’s). To locate these papers’ topic within a broader context, I begin with an overview of some prominent topics in the field of neurolaw, where possible providing some references to relevant literature. The specific questions asked by the three authors, as well as their answers and central (...)
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  2. Marcus Arvan (2013). “A Lot More Bad News for Conservatives, and a Little Bit of Bad News for Liberals? Moral Judgments and the Dark Triad Personality Traits: A Follow-Up Study”. Neuroethics 6 (1):51-64.
    In a recent study appearing in Neuroethics, I reported observing 11 significant correlations between the “Dark Triad” personality traits – Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy – and “conservative” judgments on a 17-item Moral Intuition Survey. Surprisingly, I observed no significant correlations between the Dark Triad and “liberal” judgments. In order to determine whether these results were an artifact of the particular issues I selected, I ran a follow-up study testing the Dark Triad against conservative and liberal judgments on 15 additional moral (...)
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  3. Marcus Arvan (2013). Bad News for Conservatives? Moral Judgments and the Dark Triad Personality Traits: A Correlational Study. Neuroethics 6 (2):307-318.
    This study examined correlations between moral value judgments on a 17-item Moral Intuition Survey (MIS), and participant scores on the Short-D3 “Dark Triad” Personality Inventory—a measure of three related “dark and socially destructive” personality traits: Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy. Five hundred sixty-seven participants (302 male, 257 female, 2 transgendered; median age 28) were recruited online through Amazon Mechanical Turk and Yale Experiment Month web advertisements. Different responses to MIS items were initially hypothesized to be “conservative” or “liberal” in line with (...)
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  4. Natalie Ball & Gregor Wolbring (forthcoming). Cognitive Enhancement: Perceptions Among Parents of Children with Disabilities. Neuroethics:1-20.
    Cognitive enhancement is an increasingly discussed topic and policy suggestions have been put forward. We present here empirical data of views of parents of children with and without cognitive disabilities. Analysis of the interviews revealed six primary overarching themes: meanings of health and treatment; the role of medicine; harm; the ‘good’ parent; normality and self-perception; and ability. Interestingly none of the parents used the term ethics and only one parent used the term moral twice.
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  5. Matthew L. Baum (2013). The Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) Genetic Predisposition to Impulsive Violence: Is It Relevant to Criminal Trials? Neuroethics 6 (2):287-306.
    In Italy, a judge reduced the sentence of a defendant by 1 year in response to evidence for a genetic predisposition to violence. The best characterized of these genetic differences, those in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), were cited as especially relevant. Several months previously in the USA, MAOA data contributed to a jury reducing charges from 1st degree murder (a capital offence) to voluntary manslaughter. Is there a rational basis for this type of use of MAOA evidence in criminal (...)
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  6. Stephanie J. Bird (2012). Potential for Bias in the Context of Neuroethics. Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (3):593-600.
    Neuroscience research, like all science, is vulnerable to the influence of extraneous values in the practice of research, whether in research design or the selection, analysis and interpretation of data. This is particularly problematic for research into the biological mechanisms that underlie behavior, and especially the neurobiological underpinnings of moral development and ethical reasoning, decision-making and behavior, and the other elements of what is often called the neuroscience of ethics. The problem arises because neuroscientists, like most everyone, bring to their (...)
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  7. R. James R. Blair (2008). The Cognitive Neuroscience of Psychopathy and Implications for Judgments of Responsibility. Neuroethics 1 (3):149-157.
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  8. Robyn Bluhm (forthcoming). No Need for Alarm: A Critical Analysis of Greene's Dual-Process Theory of Moral Decision-Making. Neuroethics:1-18.
    Joshua Greene and his colleagues have proposed a dual-process theory of moral decision-making to account for the effects of emotional responses on our judgments about moral dilemmas that ask us to contemplate causing direct personal harm. Early formulations of the theory contrast emotional and cognitive decision-making, saying that each is the product of a separable neural system. Later formulations emphasize that emotions are also involved in cognitive processing. I argue that, given the acknowledgement that emotions inform cognitive decision-making, a single-process (...)
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  9. Robyn Bluhm (2013). New Research, Old Problems: Methodological and Ethical Issues in fMRI Research Examining Sex/Gender Differences in Emotion Processing. Neuroethics 6 (2):319-330.
    Neuroscience research examining sex/gender differences aims to explain behavioral differences between men and women in terms of differences in their brains. Historically, this research has used ad hoc methods and has been conducted explicitly in order to show that prevailing gender roles were dictated by biology. I examine contemporary fMRI research on sex/gender differences in emotion processing and argue that it, too, both uses problematic methods and, in doing so, reinforces gender stereotypes.
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  10. Lisa Bortolotti, Matthew R. Broome & Matteo Mameli (forthcoming). Delusions and Responsibility for Action: Insights From the Breivik Case. Neuroethics:1-6.
    What factors should be taken into account when attributing criminal responsibility to perpetrators of severe crimes? We discuss the Breivik case, and the considerations which led to holding Breivik accountable for his criminal acts. We put some pressure on the view that experiencing certain psychiatric symptoms or receiving a certain psychiatric diagnosis is sufficient to establish criminal insanity. We also argue that the presence of delusional beliefs, often regarded as a key factor in determining responsibility, is neither necessary nor sufficient (...)
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  11. Tommaso Bruni, Matteo Mameli & Regina A. Rini (2014). The Science of Morality and its Normative Implications. Neuroethics 7 (2):159-172.
    Neuromoral theorists are those who claim that a scientific understanding of moral judgment through the methods of psychology, neuroscience and related disciplines can have normative implications and can be used to improve the human ability to make moral judgments. We consider three neuromoral theories: one suggested by Gazzaniga, one put forward by Gigerenzer, and one developed by Greene. By contrasting these theories we reveal some of the fundamental issues that neuromoral theories in general have to address. One important issue concerns (...)
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  12. Tom Buller (2013). Neurotechnology, Invasiveness and the Extended Mind. Neuroethics 6 (3):593-605.
    According to a standard view, the physical boundary of the person—the skin-and-skull boundary—matters morally because this boundary delineates between where the person begins and the world ends. On the basis of this view we make a distinction between invasive interventions that penetrate this boundary and non-invasive interventions that do not. The development of neuroprosthetics, however, raises questions about the significance of this boundary and the relationship between person and body. In particular it has been argued by appeal to the Extended (...)
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  13. Jeffrey G. Caron & Gordon A. Bloom (forthcoming). Ethical Issues Surrounding Concussions and Player Safety in Professional Ice Hockey. Neuroethics:1-9.
    Concussions in professional sports have received increased attention, which is partly attributable to evidence that found concussion incidence rates were much higher than previously thought (Echlin et al. Journal of Neurosurgical Focus 29:1–10, 2010). Further to this, professional hockey players articulated how their concussion symptoms affected their professional careers, interpersonal relationships, and qualities of life (Caron et al. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 35:168–179, 2013). Researchers are beginning to associate multiple/repeated concussions with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a structural brain (...)
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  14. Adrian Carter, Rebecca Mathews, Stephanie Bell, Jayne Lucke & Wayne Hall (2014). Control and Responsibility in Addicted Individuals: What Do Addiction Neuroscientists and Clinicians Think? Neuroethics 7 (2):205-214.
    Impaired control over drug use is a defining characteristic of addiction in the major diagnostic systems. However there is significant debate about the extent of this impairment. This qualitative study examines the extent to which leading Australian addiction neuroscientists and clinicians believe that addicted individuals have control over their drug use and are responsible for their behaviour. One hour semi-structured interviews were conducted during 2009 and 2010 with 31 Australian addiction neuroscientists and clinicians (10 females and 21 males; 16 with (...)
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  15. Steve Clarke (2013). The Neuroscience of Decision Making and Our Standards for Assessing Competence to Consent. Neuroethics 6 (1):189-196.
    Rapid advances in neuroscience may enable us to identify the neural correlates of ordinary decision making. Such knowledge opens up the possibility of acquiring highly accurate information about people’s competence to consent to medical procedures and to participate in medical research. Currently we are unable to determine competence to consent with accuracy and we make a number of unrealistic practical assumptions to deal with our ignorance. Here I argue that if we are able to detect competence to consent and if (...)
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  16. Jens Clausen (2013). Bonding Brains to Machines: Ethical Implications of Electroceuticals for the Human Brain. Neuroethics 6 (3):429-434.
    Novel neurotechnologies like deep brain stimulation and brain-computer interfaces promise clinical benefits for severely suffering patients. Nevertheless, such electroceuticals raise several ethical issues on different levels: while on the level of clinical neuroethics issues with direct relevance for diagnosis and treatment have to be discussed, on the level of research neuroethics questions regarding research and development of these technological devices like investigating new targets and different diseases as well as thorough inclusion criteria are dealt with. On the level of theoretical (...)
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  17. Joseph P. DeMarco & Paul J. Ford (forthcoming). Neuroethics and the Ethical Parity Principle. Neuroethics:1-9.
    Neil Levy offers the most prominent moral principles that are specifically and exclusively designed to apply to neuroethics. His two closely related principles, labeled as versions of the ethical parity principle (EPP), are intended to resolve moral concerns about neurological modification and enhancement [1]. Though EPP is appealing and potentially illuminating, we reject the first version and substantially modify the second. Since his first principle, called EPP (strong), is dependent on the contention that the mind literally extends into external props (...)
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  18. Athina Demertzi, Eric Racine, Marie-Aurélie Bruno, Didier Ledoux, Olivia Gosseries, Audrey Vanhaudenhuyse, Marie Thonnard, Andrea Soddu, Gustave Moonen & Steven Laureys (forthcoming). Pain Perception in Disorders of Consciousness: Neuroscience, Clinical Care, and Ethics in Dialogue. Neuroethics.
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  19. Ezio Di Nucci (2013). Addiction, Compulsion, and Agency. Neuroethics (1):1-3.
    I show that Pickard’s argument against the irresistibility of addiction fails because her proposed dilemma, according to which either drug-seeking does not count as action or addiction is resistible, is flawed; and that is the case whether or not one endorses Pickard’s controversial definition of action. Briefly, we can easily imagine cases in which drug-seeking meets Pickard’s conditions for agency without thereby implying that the addiction was not irresistible, as when the drug addict may take more than one route to (...)
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  20. Thomas Douglas (2014). Enhancing Moral Conformity and Enhancing Moral Worth. Neuroethics 7 (1):75-91.
    It is plausible that we have moral reasons to become better at conforming to our moral reasons. However, it is not always clear what means to greater moral conformity we should adopt. John Harris has recently argued that we have reason to adopt traditional, deliberative means in preference to means that alter our affective or conative states directly—that is, without engaging our deliberative faculties. One of Harris’ concerns about direct means is that they would produce only a superficial kind of (...)
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  21. Isabelle Dussauge & Anelis Kaiser (2012). Neuroscience and Sex/Gender. Neuroethics 5 (3):211-215.
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  22. Gavin G. Enck (2013). Ideals of Student Excellence and Enhancement. Neuroethics 6 (1):155-164.
    Discussions about the permissibility of students using enhancements in education are often framed by the question, “Is a student who uses cognitive-enhancing drugs cheating?” While the question of cheating is interesting, it is but only one question concerning the permissibility of enhancement in education. Another interesting question is, “What kinds of students do we want in our academic institutions?” I suggest that one plausible answer to this question concerns the ideals of human excellence or virtues. The students we want in (...)
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  23. Alexandre Erler (2011). Does Memory Modification Threaten Our Authenticity? Neuroethics 4 (3):235-249.
    One objection to enhancement technologies is that they might lead us to live inauthentic lives. Memory modification technologies (MMTs) raise this worry in a particularly acute manner. In this paper I describe four scenarios where the use of MMTs might be said to lead to an inauthentic life. I then undertake to justify that judgment. I review the main existing accounts of authenticity, and present my own version of what I call a “true self” account (intended as a complement, rather (...)
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  24. Michele Farisco & Carlo Petrini (2014). On the Stand. Another Episode of Neuroscience and Law Discussion From Italy. Neuroethics 7 (2):243-245.
    After three proceedings in which neuroscience was a relevant factor for the final verdict in Italian courts, for the first time a recent case puts in question the legal relevance of neuroscientific evidence. This decision deserves international attention in its underlining that the uncertainty still affecting neuroscientific knowledge can have a significant impact on the law. It urges the consideration of such uncertainty and the development of a shared management of it.
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  25. Cordelia Fine (2012). Explaining, or Sustaining, the Status Quo? The Potentially Self-Fulfilling Effects of 'Hardwired' Accounts of Sex Differences. Neuroethics 5 (3):285-294.
    In this article I flesh out support for observations that scientific accounts of social groups can influence the very groups and mental phenomena under investigation. The controversial hypothesis that there are hardwired differences between the brains of males and females that contribute to sex differences in gender-typed behaviour is common in both the scientific and popular media. Here I present evidence that such claims, quite independently of their scientific validity, have scope to sustain the very sex differences they seek to (...)
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  26. Marta Gil (2013). Review of Daniel Kelly: Yuck! The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 6 (1):221-223.
    Perhaps the most remarkable feature about this book is the effort made by its author in order to shed light on the most intriguing question that surrounds disgust: how is it possible for disgust to be so flexible with its objects? This book is highly recommended for those readers interested in the latest and most exciting aspects of current scholarship on the study of the emotions. Readers too who are interested on evolutionary psychology, moral psychology or neuroethics will find this (...)
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  27. Frederic Gilbert (2013). Deep Brain Stimulation for Treatment Resistant Depression: Postoperative Feelings of Self-Estrangement, Suicide Attempt and Impulsive–Aggressive Behaviours. Neuroethics 6 (3):473-481.
    The goal of this article is to shed light on Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) postoperative suicidality risk factors within Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) patients, in particular by focusing on the ethical concern of enrolling patient with history of self-estrangement, suicide attempts and impulsive–aggressive inclinations. In order to illustrate these ethical issues we report and review a clinical case associated with postoperative feelings of self-estrangement, self-harm behaviours and suicide attempt leading to the removal of DBS devices. Could prospectively identifying and excluding (...)
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  28. James Giordano (2013). Unpacking Neuroscience and Neurotechnology - Instructions Not Included: Neuroethics Required. Neuroethics 6 (2):411-414.
    Using a metaphorical reminiscence upon holiday toys - and the hopes, challenges and possibilities they presented - this essay addresses the ways that the heuristics, outcomes and products of neuroscience have effected change in the human condition, predicament, and being. A note of caution is offered to pragmatically assess what can be done with neurotechnology, what can't, and what should and shouldn't - based upon the capacities and limitations of both the science, and our collective ability to handle knowledge, power (...)
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  29. James Giordano (2010). Neuroethical Issues in Neurogenetic and Neuro-Implantation Technology: The Need for Pragmatism and Preparedness in Practice and Policy. Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 4 (3).
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  30. Kristi Giselsson (2014). Book Review: Robert H. Blank. 2013. Intervention in the Brain: Politics, Policy, and Ethics. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 7 (2):247-249.
    This book begins well. Blank first gives, for the benefit of lay readers and those unfamiliar with the area of neuroscience, a brief but informative description of the structure and workings of the brain itself. He then goes on to offer an overview of the current state of brain intervention ranging from direct brain intervention (electroconvulsive therapy, electronic and magnetic stimulation, psychosurgery and neural implants), psychotropic drugs, the use of virtual reality, nootropics and neurogenetics. Blank offers a concise summary and (...)
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  31. Li-Ming Gong, Wen-Jun Tu, Jian He, Xiao-Dong Shi, Xin-Yu Wang & Ying Li (2012). The Use of Newborn Screening Dried Blood Spots for Research. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (2):189-193.
    ObjectiveTo investigate the attitudes of Chinese parents regarding the storage of dried blood spots collected for newborn screening (NBS) and their use in research.MethodsWe conducted a hospital-based survey of parents and examined parental attitudes regarding (a) allowing NBS sample storage, (b) permitting use of children’s NBS samples for research with parental permission, and (c) permitting use of children’s NBS samples for research without parental permission.ResultsThe response rate was 52 percent. Of parents surveyed, 68 percent would permit their infant’s NBS sample (...)
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  32. Henry T. Greely (2012). What If? The Farther Shores of Neuroethics. Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (3):439-446.
    Neuroscience is clearly making enormous progress toward understanding how human brains work. The implications of this progress for ethics, law, society, and culture are much less clear. Some have argued that neuroscience will lead to vast changes, superseding much of law and ethics. The likely limits to the explanatory power of neuroscience argue against that position, as do the limits to the social relevance of what neuroscience will be able to explain. At the same time neuroscience is likely to change (...)
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  33. Jan-Hendrik Heinrichs (2012). The Sensitivity of Neuroimaging Data. Neuroethics 5 (2):185-195.
    Abstract When new methods of generating information about individuals leave the confined space of research application the possibility of morally dubious application arises. The current propagation of neuroscientific diagnostics leads to new possibilities of misuse and accordingly new needs for the protection of individual privacy emerge. While most current privacy discussion focuses on sensationalist applications which aim/claim to gather information about psychological traits or even the content of thoughts, the more sober but much more realistic endeavour to gather health data (...)
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  34. Stuart Henry & Dena Plemmons (2012). Neuroscience, Neuropolitics and Neuroethics: The Complex Case of Crime, Deception and fMRI. Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (3):573-591.
    Scientific developments take place in a socio-political context but scientists often ignore the ways their innovations will be both interpreted by the media and used by policy makers. In the rush to neuroscientific discovery important questions are overlooked, such as the ways: (1) the brain, environment and behavior are related; (2) biological changes are mediated by social organization; (3) institutional bias in the application of technical procedures ignores race, class and gender dimensions of society; (4) knowledge is used to the (...)
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  35. Ginger A. Hoffman (2013). Treating Yourself as an Object: Self-Objectification and the Ethical Dimensions of Antidepressant Use. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 6 (1):165-178.
    In this paper, I offer one moral reason to eschew antidepressant medication in favor of cognitive therapy, all other things being equal: taking antidepressants can be a form of self-objectification. This means that, by taking antidepressants, one treats oneself, in some sense and some cases, like a mere object. I contend that, morally, this amounts to a specific form of devaluing oneself. I argue this as follows. First, I offer a detailed definition of “objectification” and argue for the possibility of (...)
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  36. Greg Horne (2014). Is Borderline Personality Disorder a Moral or Clinical Condition? Assessing Charland's Argument From Treatment. Neuroethics 7 (2):215-226.
    Louis Charland has argued that the Cluster B personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, are primarily moral rather than clinical conditions. Part of his argument stems from reflections on effective treatment of borderline personality disorder. In the argument from treatment, he claims that successful treatment of all Cluster B personality disorders requires a positive change in a patient’s moral character. Based on this claim, he concludes (1) that these disorders are, at root, deficits in moral character, and (2) that effective (...)
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  37. Judy Illes (ed.) (2005). Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice, and Policy. OUP Oxford.
    Recent advances in the brain sciences have dramatically improved our understanding of brain function. As we find out more and more about what makes us tick, we must stop and consider the ethical implications of this new found knowledge. Will having a new biology of the brain through imaging make us less responsible for our behavior and lose our free will? Should certain brain scan studies be disallowed on the basis of moral grounds? Why is the media so interested in (...)
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  38. Karim Jebari (forthcoming). What to Enhance: Behaviour, Emotion or Disposition? Neuroethics:1-9.
    As we learn more about the human brain, novel biotechnological means to modulate human behaviour and emotional dispositions become possible. These technologies could be used to enhance our morality. Moral bioenhancement, an instance of human enhancement, alters a person’s dispositions, emotions or behaviour in order to make that person more moral. I will argue that moral bioenhancement could be carried out in three different ways. The first strategy, well known from science fiction, is behavioural enhancement. The second strategy, favoured by (...)
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  39. L. Syd M. Johnson (forthcoming). Sport-Related Neurotrauma and Neuroprotection: Are Return-to-Play Protocols Justified by Paternalism? Neuroethics:1-12.
    Sport-related neurotrauma annually affects millions of athletes worldwide. The return-to-play protocol (RTP) is the dominant strategy adopted by sports leagues and organizations to manage one type of sport-related neurotrauma: concussions. RTPs establish guidelines for when athletes with concussions are to be removed from competition or practice, and when they can return. RTPs are intended to be neuroprotective, and to protect athletes from some of the harms of sport-related concussions, but there is athlete resistance to and noncompliance with RTPs. This prompts (...)
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  40. Thomas Johnson (2012). Review of Julian Savulescu, Ruud ter Meulen and Guy Kahane Eds., Enhancing Human Capacities. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 5 (3):321-324.
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  41. Fabrice Jotterand, Shawn M. McClintock, Archie A. Alexander & Mustafa M. Husain (2010). Ethics and Informed Consent of Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) for Patients with Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). Neuroethics 3 (1):13-22.
    Since the Nuremberg trials (1947–1949), informed consent has become central for ethical practice in patient care and biomedical research. Codes of ethics emanating from the Nuremberg Code (1947) recognize the importance of protecting patients and research subjects from abuses, manipulation and deception. Informed consent empowers individuals to autonomously and voluntarily accept or reject participation in either clinical treatment or research. In some cases, however, the underlying mental or physical condition of the individual may alter his or her cognitive abilities and (...)
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  42. Chris Kaposy (2009). Will Neuroscientific Discoveries About Free Will and Selfhood Change Our Ethical Practices? Neuroethics 2 (1):51-59.
    Over the past few years, a number of authors in the new field of neuroethics have claimed that there is an ethical challenge presented by the likelihood that the findings of neuroscience will undermine many common assumptions about human agency and selfhood. These authors claim that neuroscience shows that human agents have no free will, and that our sense of being a “self” is an illusory construction of our brains. Furthermore, some commentators predict that our ethical practices of assigning moral (...)
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  43. S. Matthew Liao & Anders Sandberg (2008). The Normativity of Memory Modification. Neuroethics 1 (2):85-99.
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  44. Edouard Machery (2010). The Bleak Implications of Moral Psychology. Neuroethics 3 (3):223-231.
    In this article, I focus on two claims made by Appiah in Experiments in Ethics: Doris’s and Harman’s criticism of virtue ethics fails, and moral psychology can be used to identify erroneous moral intuitions. I argue that both claims are erroneous.
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  45. Paul McCullagh, Gaye Lightbody, Jaroslaw Zygierewicz & W. George Kernohan (2014). Ethical Challenges Associated with the Development and Deployment of Brain Computer Interface Technology. Neuroethics 7 (2):109-122.
    Brain Computer Interface (BCI) technology offers potential for human augmentation in areas ranging from communication to home automation, leisure and gaming. This paper addresses ethical challenges associated with the wider scale deployment of BCI as an assistive technology by documenting issues associated with the development of non-invasive BCI technology. Laboratory testing is normally carried out with volunteers but further testing with subjects, who may be in vulnerable groups is often needed to improve system operation. BCI development is technically complex, sometimes (...)
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  46. Fritz J. McDonald (2014). Review of Heidi M. Ravven, The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 7 (2):251-252.
    The Self Beyond Itself is a defense of an incompatibilist, hard determinist view of free will. Free will is here defined in a very strong sense, as the existence of actions that do not result from any causes other than the agent herself. The question of how to define free will, especially whether it consists in the ability to do otherwise, and what the ability to do otherwise amounts to, is not given much consideration in this book.Ravven frames her work (...)
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  47. Alfred Mele (2011). Surrounding Free Will: A Response to Baumeister, Crescioni, and Alquist. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 4 (1):25-29.
    This contribution to a symposium on an article by Roy Baumeister, A. William Crescioni, and Jessica Alquist focuses on a tension between compatibilist and incompatibilist elements in that article. In their discussion of people’s beliefs about free will, Baumeister et al. sometimes sound like incompatibilists; but in their presentation of their work on psychological processes of free will, they sound more like compatibilists than like incompatibilists. It is suggested that Baumeister and coauthors are attempting to study free will in a (...)
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  48. Alfred R. Mele (2010). Testing Free Will. Neuroethics 3 (2):161-172.
    This article describes three experiments that would advance our understanding of the import of data already generated by scientific work on free will and related issues. All three can be conducted with existing technology. The first concerns how reliable a predictor of behavior a certain segment of type I and type II RPs is. The second focuses on the timing of conscious experiences in Libet-style studies. The third concerns the effectiveness of conscious implementation intentions. The discussion of first two experiments (...)
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  49. Daniel Mendelsohn, Charles S. Haw & Judy Illes (forthcoming). Convergent Expert Views on Decision-Making for Decompressive Craniectomy in Malignant MCA Syndrome. Neuroethics:1-8.
    Background and PurposeThe decision to perform decompressive craniectomy for patients with malignant MCA syndrome can be ethically complex. We investigated factors that clinicians consider in this decision-making process.MethodsA survey including clinical vignettes and attitudes questions surrounding the use of hemicraniectomy in malignant MCA syndrome was distributed to 203 neurosurgeons, neurologists, staff and residents, and nurses and allied health members specializing in the care of neurological patients. These were practicing health care providers situated in an urban setting in Canada where access (...)
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  50. Carla Meurk, Adrian Carter, Wayne Hall & Jayne Lucke (2014). Public Understandings of Addiction: Where Do Neurobiological Explanations Fit? Neuroethics 7 (1):51-62.
    Developments in the field of neuroscience, according to its proponents, offer the prospect of an enhanced understanding and treatment of addicted persons. Consequently, its advocates consider that improving public understanding of addiction neuroscience is a desirable aim. Those critical of neuroscientific approaches, however, charge that it is a totalising, reductive perspective–one that ignores other known causes in favour of neurobiological explanations. Sociologist Nikolas Rose has argued that neuroscience, and its associated technologies, are coming to dominate cultural models to the extent (...)
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