News and analysis on the implications of brain science

Is the concept of “will” useful in explaining addictive behaviour?

by Claudia Barned and Eric Racine

Neuroethics Blog | August 7, 2018

In ethics theory and practice, the capacity to act freely and choose alternative courses of action is of chief importance for moral responsibility. Beyond free will and will power, scientists use many other concepts are used to explain the failure of volition in addiction.

Did a blockbuster drug make hundreds gamble compulsively?

by Megan Thielking

Stat | August 2, 2018

A legal fight may decide what science can’t confirm.

Smartphones Offer an Unprecedented Opportunity to Gather Data for Mental Healthcare, But We Must Confront the Ethical Dilemmas

International Neuroethics Society | August 2, 2018

Q&A with Tom Insel, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, and a co-founder and President of Mindstrong Health. He was Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) from 2002 to 2015 and he joined the INS Board of Directors in 2017. Preview of his talk at the INS annual meeting.

Psychology Itself Is Under Scrutiny

by Benedict Carey

New York Times | July 16, 2018

Many famous studies of human behavior cannot be reproduced. Even so, they revealed aspects of our inner lives that feel true.

The Cognition Crisis

by Adam Gazzaley

Medium | July 9, 2018

Anxiety. Depression. ADHD. Dementia. The human brain is in trouble. Technology is a cause — and a solution, argues physician and neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley, director of Neuroscape.

The Neuroscientific Case for Facing Your Fears

by Ed Yong

The Atlantic | June 14, 2018

A new study shows that mice have to remember their phobias if they are to lose them effectively.

Podcast: Altered Minds

by Kirsty Wark

BBC News | June 11, 2018

Psychedelic drugs are once again being trialled to treat a range of psychological conditions. Radio interview with writer Mike Pollan about the science of LSD and magic mushrooms. From the 1940s to the 1960s, they promised to shed light not only on the deep mysteries of consciousness, but also to offer relief from addiction and mental illness. Banned since the 1970s, there is now a resurgence of research into these mind-altering substances.

Testing Philosophy through Experiments

by Abraham Loeb

Scientific American | June 7, 2018

New technologies could shed light on old philosophical questions, such as the nature of the mind and whether moral values reflect universal truth

What is Consciousness?

by Christof Koch

Scientific American | June 1, 2018

Scientists are beginning to unravel a mystery that has long vexed philosophers, argues the author, chief scientist and president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Regulating Minds: A Conceptual Typology

by Michael N. Tennison

Neuroethics Blog | May 15, 2018

The way we classify drugs, Tennison argues, is flawed and too slow to respond to new research. How should it change?

Trust in the Privacy Concerns of Brain Recordings

by Ian Stevens

The Neuroethics Blog | May 8, 2018

Brain recording technologies, such as brain-computer interfaces that collect various types of brain signals from on and around the brain, could be creating privacy vulnerabilities in their users.

What's Wrong With Growing Blobs of Brain Tissue?

by Ed Yong

The Atlantic | April 25, 2018

These increasingly complex organoids aren't conscious—but we might not know when they cross that line.

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