Brave New Visions  pg. 6

One that I’d add is in the day-to-day variability of physiology that goes into brain measurements. We know that brain physiology changes are different by gender, by stress level, by food level. Again, understanding individual variability is really crucial.

There are definitely limitations to using the knowledge we gain in the laboratory, especially about these incredibly complex phenomena in the real-world setting. But nonetheless, we are measuring them in the laboratory. These laboratory studies are being covered by the press and the word is out in the public domain.

And so we as neuroethicists really have to work closely with our neuroscience colleagues in the trenches to be proactive about aligning the ethical considerations of some of these studies up front in the research design and really trying to anticipate what kind of social impact or legal impact or ethical impact it might have down the road.

We’re accustomed to, in many ways, living in a very privileged environment where we publish in science journals and we speak with our colleagues at meetings, and a little bit filters out to the public. But I really believe and our data suggest that we’re in a different place now and we have to consider these ethical, legal, social issues to a far greater extent than we ever did before.

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