News and analysis on the implications of brain science

Why You Can’t Trust Yourself to Match Photos of Strangers’ Faces

by Heather Murphy

New York Times | August 16, 2017

Matching up photos of strangers’ faces is surprisingly difficult, and the average person is likely to be duped by matching hairstyles.

Model Hallucinations

by Philip Gerrans

Aeon | August 8, 2017

Psychedelics have a remarkable capacity to violate our ideas about ourselves. Is that why they make people better?

Watching Children Learn how to Lie

by Gail Heyman

The Conversation | August 3, 2017

One way research psychologists have sought to understand the reasoning behind the choice to lie versus tell the truth is to go back to when we first learn this skill in childhood.

Criminal Law and Neuroscience: Hope or Hype?

by Stephen J. Morse

The Neuroethics Blog | August 1, 2017

Despite the astonishing advances in neuroscience, most of what we know is not legally relevant, has not transformed doctrine, and has had scant influence on practice except in death penalty proceedings.

At Johns Hopkins, clergy try mind-altering drugs for scientific research

by Julie Zauzmer

Washington Post | July 24, 2017

In the Hopkins and NYU study, two dozen clergy — including priests, pastors and rabbis — are taking controlled doses of psilocybin, the drug found in psychedelic mushrooms, under the watchful eye of scientists.

Psychopaths have feelings: can they learn how to use them?

by Arielle Baskin-Sommers

Aeon | July 18, 2017

There is now substantial evidence that psychopaths can in fact experience emotions – but only under the right circumstances.

Addicted and Attached: A Neglected Perspective on Neuroscience Research Linking Addiction and Love

by Monique Wonderly

International Neuroethics Society | July 13, 2017

Each year the International Neuroethics Society (INS) holds a Student/Postdoc Essay Contest. One of the 2016 winners is by Monique Wonderly, postdoc at Princeton University Center for Human Values.

Oops, There Goes My Childhood: Identity and Clinical Ethical Issues in the Selective Erasing of Memories

by Kaitlyn McGlothlen

International Neuroethics Society | July 10, 2017

Each year the International Neuroethics Society (INS) holds a Student/Postdoc Essay Contest. One of the 2016 winners is by Kaitlyn McGlothlen, University of Washington, departments of philosophy and psychology.

Smart Drugs in Health and Disease

by Mo Costandi

Dana Foundation | July 3, 2017

Drugs that enhance cognition might benefit people who have cognitive troubles due to depression or schizophrenia, said researcher Barbara Sahakian in a recent lecture at University College London. While there are suggestions that modafinil could improve cognitive performance in high-risk sleep-deprived people, it is less clear whether any benefit would outweigh risks and side effects for people in the normal course of life.

Psychology studies reveal that secrets are bad for your health—even after you tell them

by Michael Slepian

Quartz | June 21, 2017

Even when we are not actively hiding a secret, it can still hurt us, and so finding more productive ways to think about the secret may go a long way toward improving well-being.

Fake News – A Role for Neuroethics?

by Neil Levy

The Neuroethics Blog | June 20, 2017

The research that shows us how people may be fooled by false claims also provides guidance as to how to make people more responsive to good evidence. We could utilize this information to design informational nudges, with the aim of ensuring that people are better informed.

When Your Child Is a Psychopath

by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

The Atlantic | June 1, 2017

The condition has long been considered untreatable. Experts can spot it in a child as young as 3 or 4. But a new, intensive, clinical approach offers hope.

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