Neuroethics

Neuroethics

Neuroethics explores the ethical, legal and social impact of neuroscience; for example, brain imaging techniques that could make it possible to tell when someone is lying or make assumptions about sanity or guilt in criminals with different brain characteristics. Neuroethics will be a critical part of neuroscience as technology advances, so read about it in our journal today!

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Anosognosia: Is Vestibular Stimulation Ethical?

Anosognosia: Is Vestibular Stimulation Ethical?


Introduction Anosognosia, a severe symptom associated with mental illness,  is the inability of a patient to perceive his or her own neurological disorder. Caused by the deterioration of the frontal lobe by illnesses such as dementia and bipolar disorder, anosognosia is highly detrimental to society’s well-being and upkeep since anoso...

Your Naked Brain: Preserving Privacy and Safety in the Rise of Neuroimaging

Your Naked Brain: Preserving Privacy and Safety in the Rise of Neuroimaging


Introduction   In recent years, the leather briefcases of lawyers have filled with glossy images of brains and freshly inked papers that explain only a fraction of the worlds contained in the photos. With the advent of accurate and comprehensive electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), neuroscienti...

Redefining Justice: Updating Criminal Law to Reflect a New Understanding of the Mind

Redefining Justice: Updating Criminal Law to Reflect a New Understanding of the Mind


Abstract The foremost approach to assigning punishment to crime is premised on the idea of free will; an individual lives in a society on the condition that he/she obeys a certain set of rules, and if said individual freely acts in a way that violates these rules, proportionate retribution is in order. New questions arise, however, when scientis...

Neuroprediction for Preventive Justice: Potential Pitfalls and Ethical Issues

Neuroprediction for Preventive Justice: Potential Pitfalls and Ethical Issues


Introduction Picture a world free of violent crime: no more homicides, rapes, or kidnappings that today, destroy the lives of far too many victims and their loved ones. Is this a safer world? A more desirable one? As advances in neurotechnology promise to soon give law enforcement and the state powers to predict and prevent crimes before they ha...

Games of Abuse: The Neuroethical Issues of Gaming Addiction

Games of Abuse: The Neuroethical Issues of Gaming Addiction


Introduction We live in an era where scientific innovation is no longer a generational event; rather, it recurs time and again within a single lifetime. Technological marvels such as automobiles, telephones, and electricity took decades to gain the same popularity that “Pokemon Go'' was able to achieve in three weeks. This is in la...

Nico-teen: The Neuroethics of Adolescent Electronic Cigarette Use

Nico-teen: The Neuroethics of Adolescent Electronic Cigarette Use


Introduction The past few years have seen a rise in the use of electronic cigarettes among adolescents. The adolescent brain is especially vulnerable to the nicotine compounds in electronic cigarettes due to its unique chemistry and is not only more easily addicted to nicotine, but also significantly more harmed than post-adolescent brains. Cons...

An Examination of the Risks and Benefits of Moral Neuroenhancement

An Examination of the Risks and Benefits of Moral Neuroenhancement


Introduction Neuroenhancement is the means of enhancing the functions and capabilities of the human brain through the use of drugs {5}. When contemplating the uses of neuroenhancement, the first idea that likely comes to mind is heightening the cognitive functions of the brain such as memory. Cognitive function, though a popular example, is not ...

Moving On: A Refugee Crisis

Moving On: A Refugee Crisis


Abstract The number of refugees throughout the world, particularly children, has skyrocketed in the last decade. The trauma they face, both in the home and host country, causes changes in the hippocampus, reward centers, grey matter, and amygdala. The neurology behind these symptoms is complex and not fully understood yet. These changes are link...

Sophie’s Choice: The Safety of Psychiatric Treatment During Pregnancy

Sophie’s Choice: The Safety of Psychiatric Treatment During Pregnancy


Abstract Pregnancy revolutionizes life on many different levels – but not necessarily in a positive way. Waiting for an unborn child can be disrupted by a mental health problem, which can endanger both the future mother and her child. Knowledge of how to cure the mother without harming the fetus is lacking, forcing the mother and medical s...

BCIs – Increasing the Wealth Gap

BCIs – Increasing the Wealth Gap


Introduction The term brain-computer interface is often associated with thoughts of a science-fiction world filled with cyborgs and aliens, but, as far off in the future as it may seem, many companies and universities today are working to make that vision a reality today. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are machines that convert neural impulses...

Ethical Implications for Electrostimulation and Optogenetics

Ethical Implications for Electrostimulation and Optogenetics


Abstract Electrostimulation and optogenetics are examples of new technologies that researchers have developed to tackle neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s diseases. However, critics have voiced concerns highlighting the dangers of these technologies being used in clinical applications. This article resolves ...

The Ethical Roadblocks of Consciousness in Human Brain Organoid Research and a Word of Warning

The Ethical Roadblocks of Consciousness in Human Brain Organoid Research and a Word of Warning


Abstract Human brain organoids (HBOs) are three-dimensional in vitro structures developed from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that imitate the development of the human brain. In recent years, HBOs have shown great promise in research in multiple fields, from developing medical treatments to investigating consciousness. Though simpl...

Miscommunication and Misinformation: Oversimplification of the Brain in the Media and the Public

Miscommunication and Misinformation: Oversimplification of the Brain in the Media and the Public


Abstract As the field of neuroscience continues to grow, we can expect many new discoveries. In particular, the public and media have raised expectations on the applications of new research. However, oversimplification of the complexities of the brain by the media can lead to the dissemination of misinformation.  Often, the internet can emp...

Revisiting Brain Death: Restoring Consciousness with Cutting-Edge Research

Revisiting Brain Death: Restoring Consciousness with Cutting-Edge Research


Abstract May 2018—Trenton McKinley: ‘Brain-Dead’ Boy Wakes Up Hours Before Organ Donation (The Week) September 2017—Jahi McMath, Girl Declared Brain Dead Three Years Ago, Might Still be Technically Alive, Judge Says (LA Times) July 2017—Brain Dead Mother Gives Birth to Twins After Being Kept on Life Support fo...

Artificial Intelligence-Based Brain-Computer Interfaces: Ethical Considerations for Brain Information Processing

Artificial Intelligence-Based Brain-Computer Interfaces: Ethical Considerations for Brain Information Processing


Abstract Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are receiving attention as a treatment for patients with neurological disabilities due to their direct linkage between the human brain and an external device. Their advancements have shown to be in contingence with that of artificial intelligence (AI) integrated within their  command-generating algo...

Magic Medicine: A Multifaceted Approach to Justifying Psychedelic Therapy

Magic Medicine: A Multifaceted Approach to Justifying Psychedelic Therapy


Abstract The sustaining popularity of psychedelic drugs, known for their mysterious psycho-activating properties, reflects how despite evolution, humans continue to crave connection beyond their conscious selves. Perhaps the material advancement of our species has even heightened this desire. Movements to decriminalize psychedelic drugs have rec...

The Problem with Propranolol: The Ethical Implications of Memory Dampening Technology

The Problem with Propranolol: The Ethical Implications of Memory Dampening Technology


Introduction Researchers are exploring a novel treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that has been shown to manipulate traumatic memories. Neuroethicists explore the possible ramifications of the new drug, as concerns about the quality of human life, the criminal justice system, and the military start to become increasingly relevan...

Consciousness: A Philosophical and Scientific Mystery

Consciousness: A Philosophical and Scientific Mystery


Abstract All humans have a consciousness – a state of awareness when awake that allows us to acknowledge our existence. The debate over consciousness has existed for many years, even centuries, between philosophers and scientists. Qualia, also known as the origin of our consciousness, has been a mystery “from the earliest days of ant...

Armstrong? More like Brainstrong: Cognition Enhancing Drugs in Academia

Armstrong? More like Brainstrong: Cognition Enhancing Drugs in Academia


Abstract As far back as written history can recall, drugs have been used to alter the human body. From increasing muscle size to numbing pain, stimulating the senses to shutting down parts (or all) of the body, medicinal and recreational drugs have been tailored by manufacturers to meet the ever-growing needs and desires of society. In recent de...

Common Consequences: The Case for Patient-to-Patient Education During Deep Brain Stimulation

Common Consequences: The Case for Patient-to-Patient Education During Deep Brain Stimulation


Abstract Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an emerging technique for treating symptoms associated with disabling neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and epilepsy [1]. Enabled by a small, pacemaker-like device that delivers targeted electrical stimulation directly to the brain, DBS has drasti...

The Brain, Evolution, and Intelligence: An Overview

The Brain, Evolution, and Intelligence: An Overview


Abstract Increasing evidence over the past several years of research indicates that multiple structures in the brain are associated with intelligence and cognitive function at the molecular level. The most crucial factors of human intelligence are reasoning, problem-solving, and learning. To further explore the relationship between human brains ...

Maximizing the Impacts of Brain-reading Technology through Human Rights

Maximizing the Impacts of Brain-reading Technology through Human Rights


Abstract Imagine a world free from the fallibility of the human condition. In this fantastical world, workplace accidents, everyday violence, and even physical disabilities could be eliminated. The allure of this perfect society serves as motivation for neuroscientists to use their knowledge of the brain to prevent mental and physical flaws. Mod...

A Scientific Approach to Sentencing: Neurointerventions

A Scientific Approach to Sentencing: Neurointerventions


Abstract The rehabilitation of criminal offenders and their safe reintegration into society has long been considered the key to a safer world. Yet, current methods of rehabilitation in preventing recidivism are highly limited. With our emerging understanding of the human brain, taking a scientific approach to sentencing through the use of neuroi...

Ethical Issues Involving Brain Controlled Interfaces: Clinical and Military Applications

Ethical Issues Involving Brain Controlled Interfaces: Clinical and Military Applications


Abstract Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) are becoming increasingly common as treatment options to enhance communication for patients with degenerative disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, tetraplegia, epilepsy, and locked-in syndrome. Scientists have also considered applying this novel neurotechnology to the military with the goal o...

Exploring the Ethical Implications of Neurotheological Studies

Exploring the Ethical Implications of Neurotheological Studies


Abstract As neuroscience begins to reveal more about human thoughts and feelings, neuroscientists begin to postulate the possibility that God and religion are only made and governed by some electrochemical signals in our brains. This article challenges the idea that neurotheology is able to make any definitive conclusion on the existence of supe...

Consumer Manipulation and Neuromarketing

Consumer Manipulation and Neuromarketing


Abstract In recent years, neuromarketing, a field of marketing using neuropsychological approaches to study consumers’ behavior, has come under increasing scrutiny. Neuromarketing, also known as consumer neuroscience, gives companies new tools to better understand consumers’ purchasing behaviors. These tools include cutting-edge neur...

Dissociative Identity Disorder: An Emerging Neuroethics Discussion in the Courtroom

Dissociative Identity Disorder: An Emerging Neuroethics Discussion in the Courtroom


 Abstract  Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) has been a disorder of increasing controversy  because of criminals who attribute their violent actions to the disorder. This paper takes a multifaceted approach in analyzing the effects of controversy surrounding the trauma-based theory, the negative influence of DID media represent...

A Happy Pill: A Scientific and Neuroethical Analysis of Antidepressant Use in Non-Depressed Individuals

A Happy Pill: A Scientific and Neuroethical Analysis of Antidepressant Use in Non-Depressed Individuals


Introduction Antidepressants have been widely prescribed for clinical depression, a common mental disorder, for years. The biological and chemical functionality of antidepressant medication, specifically SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), motivates the question of whether or not antidepressants can serve as “happy pills&rdquo...

Treating Unconscious Patients When End-of-Life Preferences Are Not Declared

Treating Unconscious Patients When End-of-Life Preferences Are Not Declared


Introduction It is only fair that all patients have their end-of-life preferences met. However, this idea becomes complex when the patient has not expressed end-of-life preferences prior to an injury and is in a state where communication is not possible. Patients in a comatose, vegetative, or minimally conscious state are often in such situation...

Equity, Equality, and Restraint: The Ethics of Neuroenhancement in Education

Equity, Equality, and Restraint: The Ethics of Neuroenhancement in Education


Abstract Neuroenhancement is a rapidly developing area of neuroscience that focuses on the use of drugs and technologies to improve cognitive abilities. Although  it has countless promising applications in all reaches of society, it has the greatest impact on the education system. Various inequalities and learning barriers plague modern edu...

The Rising Conflict Between Neuroscience and Who We Are

The Rising Conflict Between Neuroscience and Who We Are


Introduction Neuroethics has become increasingly differential from the study of bioethics throughout the last few decades. This categorical separation of research can be accredited to the accelerated development in neuroscience and neurotechnology, which has consequently resulted in the emergence of ethical issues [1]. Currently, researchers of ...

Neuromarketing in Politics: The Ethics of a New Age

Neuromarketing in Politics: The Ethics of a New Age


Introduction We’ve all seen those brightly colored posters that deck the sidewalks during election season. A bolded name paints the small square, typically with a quick political slogan at the bottom, and perhaps a small photo of the candidate or party for some allure. Either way, we’ve all likely come across some form of political a...

The Rise of Neuro-Enhancing Drugs: An Ethical Quandary of Nootropics and How It Can Impact Society As We Know It

The Rise of Neuro-Enhancing Drugs: An Ethical Quandary of Nootropics and How It Can Impact Society As We Know It


Abstract The field of medicine has advanced so much to the point that it is now possible for people to take a single pill to improve their cognition. The market of these drugs, called nootropics or neuro-enhancing drugs, is set to reach $4.94 billion by 2025, indicating that these drugs are bound to take the world up by storm soon [1]. As fascin...

Who Do We Believe?: The Neuroethics Surrounding the #MeToo Movement

Who Do We Believe?: The Neuroethics Surrounding the #MeToo Movement


Abstract The number of refugees throughout the world, particularly children, has skyrocketed in the last decade. The trauma they face, both in the home and host country, causes changes in the hippocampus, reward centers, grey matter, and amygdala. The neurology behind these symptoms is complex and not fully understood yet. These changes are link...

Neurodata Protection: Shortcomings and Considerations for Responsible Data Sharing

Neurodata Protection: Shortcomings and Considerations for Responsible Data Sharing


Abstract With the increasing usage of neuroinformatics in brain research, there has been an unprecedented growth in brain data usage and sharing. These are accompanied by many ethical and societal issues that must be considered and addressed in order to expand on the effectiveness of neuroinformatic research. This article specifically discusses ...

The Role of New Biomarkers in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders

The Role of New Biomarkers in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders


Abstract In this article, I put forward possible uses of newly emerging diagnostic methods in mental health care found in numerous studies. Some of the biomarkers discussed include molecular biomarkers and neuroimaging data, which have been studied for their possible uses combating  depression and schizophrenia. I argue that not only will t...

Brain-Computer Interfaces: Futuristic Prospects and Ethical Dilemmas

Brain-Computer Interfaces: Futuristic Prospects and Ethical Dilemmas


Abstract As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented rate in our society today, we now have access to a multitude of new possibilities. One of these prospects is the development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), technology that enables direct communication between a machine and signals from the brain, thus enabling us to control ou...

Guilty Before Proven Innocent: The Implications of Unconscious Racial Biases in the Criminal Justice System

Guilty Before Proven Innocent: The Implications of Unconscious Racial Biases in the Criminal Justice System


Abstract Although a bedrock principle of the American criminal justice system is the presumption of innocence, research shows it might not always be upheld. This paper addresses various factors that can result in unjust rulings, including the cross-race effect, fallibility in memory, and the skin tone bias. These phenomenons can unintentionally ...

Stuck in Modern Limbo: How can we help the (un)conscious patients?

Stuck in Modern Limbo: How can we help the (un)conscious patients?


Abstract Numerous disputes surrounding the case of Vincent Lambert have shown us that the treatment of unresponsive patients is still a highly controversial topic. Disorders of consciousness are also yet to be properly understood, which can potentially contribute to a wrong diagnosis – and for the people concerned that ...

Towards New, Modified Human Rights in The Era of Neurotechnology:  Call for International Human Rights Law

Towards New, Modified Human Rights in The Era of Neurotechnology: Call for International Human Rights Law


Abstract Modern advancements in neurotechnology and neuroscience may open unparalleled routes that invade individuals’ personal spheres ranging from collecting and accessing to sharing and even manipulating a person’s brain information. Such implantations pose notable threats to human rights principles; these challenges ought to be a...