Ethical questions in functional neuroimaging and cognitive enhancement

Poiesis and Praxis 4 (2):81-94 (2006)
The new field of neuroethics has recently emerged following unprecedented developments in the neurosciences. Neuroimaging and cognitive enhancement in particular are demanding ethical debate. For example, neuroscientists are able to measure, with increasing accuracy, intimate personal biases and thoughts as they occur in the brain. Smart drugs are now available that can effectively and safely enhance mental functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. This article describes the scientific principles behind these technologies, and urges the development of ethical principles based on a clear understanding of them. Europe should take the United States’ lead in devoting resources specifically intended to examine neuroethical concerns within European healthcare and legal frameworks
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