Your brain and you: Forecasting the ethical challenges ahead for neuroscience and society

PHILADELPHIA Are we ready for a future where brain scans invade our private thoughts? Will we have to alter our brains chemically to keep competitive at our jobs? Could science determine that "souls" do not exist, and, if so, what does that mean for how we think of ourselves as human beings?

The cover story in this month's edition of the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, released today, tackles these questions about the growing influence of neuroscience on 21st-century life. University of Pennsylvania researcher Martha Farah outlines advances in knowledge about the brain and how new technology enables us to monitor and manipulate it.

"What the late 20th century was for molecular genetics - a time of great scientific breakthroughs and unprecedented ethical challenges - the early 21st century is proving to be for neuroscience," said Farah, a professor in Penn's Department of Psychology and director of Penn's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. "There is so much activity in this area now, it has gotten its own name, separate from bioethics more generally. It's called 'neuroethics.'"

Breakthroughs in functional neuroimaging have enabled researchers to study cognitive and emotional processes as they unfold in a person's brain. This is a potential boon for psychologists and neuroscientists, but is also being used in the service of corporate profits. In "neuromarketing," researchers use functional MRI to gauge a person's desire for particular products and the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Brain imaging is also being explored as a substitute for lie detectors, which could be used to screen employees and travelers or even to assess the truthfulness of legal testimony.

"These applications of brain imaging are not ready for prime time," Farah said. "By and large the neuroscientists understand this, but, when laypeople read about these new methods, the scientists' cautions and qualifications often go unnoticed." Othe

Contact: Greg Lester
University of Pennsylvania

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Invasion of the brain tumors
2. Preclinical study links gene to brain aneurysm formation
3. Gene variant is associated with brain anatomy, clinical course of ADHD
4. Human knowledge is based upon directed connectivity between brain areas
5. A sensory organ, not the brain, differentiates male and female behavior in some mammals
6. Reading ability protects brain from lead exposure
7. Strength of connections between brain regions may affect an adolescents response to peer influence
8. Females more prone to brain damage from alcohol abuse
9. Prenatal alcohol exposure alters brain activity in the frontal-striatal areas
10. Drug protects brain cells in Huntingtons disease model, researchers find
11. Steroids, not songs, spur growth of brain regions in sparrows

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/6/2017)... 2017 RAM Group , Singaporean ... breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based ... by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will ... chains and security. Ram Group is a next ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... -- NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April 13, 2017 ... ... Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at http://www.nxt-id.com  under ... http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ... prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced ... by which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents ... ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell ... limbs saved as compared to standard bone marrow ... HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... a four-tiered line of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who ... packaging of Kindred takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available ... bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... 2017 , ... On Tuesday, October 24th, ABC² (Accelerate Brain ... adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The featured speaker will be Dr. Brian ... to the public, but registration is required. , WHAT: ABC² Brain Cancer ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: