As researchers develop new non-invasive direct-to-consumer technologies that read and stimulate the brain, society must consider the appropriate uses of such devices. Will these brain technologies eventually allow enhancement of abilities beyond human capabilities? In what settings are people using these devices outside the purview of researchers or clinicians? Should consumers be allowed to ‘hack’ their own brain in order to improve performance?
To explore these challenges and the ethical issues raised by advances in do-it-yourself (DIY) neurotechnology, the Emerging Issues Task Force of the International Neuroethics Society organized a virtual panel discussion. The panel discussed neurotechnologies such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets and their ability to change the way we understand and alter our brains. Particular attention will be given to the use of neurotechnology by everyday people and the implications this has for regulatory oversight and citizen neuroscience.
Technologies that record and stimulate the brain are set to transform medical treatment, interpersonal life, and even what it means to be human; but these neurotechnologies may, if we’re not careful, continue legacies of harm against people of color, women, LGBTQIA-identifying persons, and disabled people. How can we keep neurotechnology from becoming oppressive? What would 'anti-oppressive' brain technology look like?
The INS Emerging Issues Task Force organized a virtual panel discussion on ‘Culturally-Aware Global Neuroethics.’ Panelists explored the issue of cultivating a culturally-aware global neuroethics, and discussed a range of illuminating examples of global priorities in neuroethics.
The increasing use of neurotechnological devices for basic neuroscience research, clinical applications, but also in the consumer domain, creates substantial ethical and legal challenges for governing the access and use of human brain data collected by these devices. Furthermore, some neurotechnologies, such as AI-based closed-loop brain-computer interfaces, may interfere with a person's mental privacy or mental integrity which has given rise to a debate on the necessity and precise legal framing of neuroprotection laws, also referred to 'neurorights.'
In this interdisciplinary panel discussion, panelists explored and discussed the technical, ethical, and legal dimensions of brain data governance and neurorights.
The INS Emerging Issues Task Force held a virtual panel discussion on the evolving role and increased adoption of digital applications to deliver mental health care. It was held as a session at the annual conference of the Italian Society for Neuroethics. Speakers were:
21st century environmental challenges coupled to novel scientific understandings of their impacts on neurological and mental health raise a distinct set of considerations at the interface between environmental ethics, brain health, and public policy. How do environmental factors like pollution, toxicity, and radiation affect the brain and present long-term epidemiological concerns? What about the relationship between environmental stressors and mental health among diverse demographic populations? How may public health and environmental strategies work in tandem to design interventions for the built and natural environments? And how can we facilitate discussion of all these questions to promote a future population-level resilience to the challenges brought on by environmental change?
To encapsulate these emerging concerns at the convergence between brain and environmental health whilst aligning it with ethical considerations, the Emerging Issues Task Force of the International Neuroethics Society organized a virtual panel discussion. The panel focused on four areas of analysis. Specific attention was given to how these four tiers come together to provide directions for future ethically-minded and behaviorally-driven environmental health research.