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Advances in neuroscience research are rapidly bringing new and complex issues to the forefront of medical and social ethics, and scholars from diverse fields have been coming together to debate the issues at stake. Acclaimed science writer Sandra Ackerman witnessed one such gathering, and here she skillfully synthesizes those proceedings into a concise presentation of the challenges that neuroscience and neuroethics currently face.
Top scholars and scientists in neuroscience and ethics convened at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in May 2005. They included Michael Gazzaniga, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth College; Marcus Raichle of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; Harvard University provost Steven Hyman; Judy Illes, cofounder of the Stanford Brain Research Center; University of Virginia bioethicist Jonathan Moreno; Stacey Tovino of the Health Law and Policy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center; and Stanford law professor Hank Greely.
Ackerman weaves the invigorating arguments and discussions among these and other prominent scholars into a seamless and dynamic narrative. She reveals the wide array of issues that have emerged from recent research, including brain imaging, free will and personal responsibility, disease diagnosis and prediction, brain enhancement, and the potential social, political, and legal ramifications of new discoveries. Translating these complex arguments into an engrossing account of neuroethics, she offers a rare view of science—and ethics—in the making.
PART ONE. OVERVIEW
What We can Learn from a Chimera
Enhancement, for Better or Worse
Neuroimaging and the Law
Neuroscreening and Predictions
Too Much Help?
Neuroscience and Morality
Imminent Prospects and Responsibilities
PART TWO. NEUROIMAGING
The Power of an Image
What Are We Seeing?
There and Not There
Who Is Conscious?
Qualities of Consciousness
Moral Decision Making in the Human Brain
PART THREE. DRUGS IN THE BRAIN
Starting with Safety
Psychiatric Drugs for Children
Unfair Advantage in a Pill?
What is Worth Treating?
How Genes Interact with Drugs
Therapy versus Enhancement
What Can We Do and What Should We Do?
PART FOUR. NEUROTECHNOLOGY
A New Age of Neurotechnology
Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders
How Deep Brain Stimulation Works
Deep Brain Stimulation for Depression
Ethical and Practical Concerns of Deep Brain Stimulation
The Brain-Computer Interface
Ethics of Neurosurgery
The Therapy-Enhancement Distinction
The Role of the Neuroethicist
Hard Science, Hard Choices: A Public Discussion of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Law