Overview of Neuroethics
Neuroethics encompasses the myriad ways in which developments in basic and clinical neuroscience intersect with social and ethical issues. The field is so young that any attempt to define its scope and limits now will undoubtedly be proved wrong in the future, as neuroscience develops and its implications continue to be revealed. At present, however, we can discern two general categories of neuroethical issue: those emerging from what we can do and those emerging from what we know.
The "what we can do" problems
In the first category are the ethical problems raised by advances in functional neuroimaging, psychopharmacology, brain implants and brain-machine interfaces.
- Brain Imaging
- Cognitive Enhancement
- Pharmaceutical Enhancement of Mood and Related Functions
- Brain-machine Interfaces and Nonpharmacologic Enhancement
The "what we know" problems
In the second category are the ethical problems raised by our growing understanding of the neural bases of behavior, personality, consciousness, and states of spiritual transcendence.
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Illes, J. (Ed.) (2005). Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice and Policy. Oxford U. Press.
Levy, N. (2007). Neuroethics: Challenges for the 21st Century. Cambridge University Press.
Moreno J.D. (2003). Neuroethics: an agenda for neuroscience and society. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4 (2): 149-153.
Marcus, S.J. (2002). Neuroethics: Mapping the Field. Dana Press.
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