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Neuroethical Considerations: Cognitive Liberty and Converging Technologies for Improving Human Cognition

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Abstract

Developers of NBIC (Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno) technologies face a multitude of obstacles, not the least of which is navigating the public ethics of their applied research. Biotechnologies have received widespread media attention and spawned heated interest in their perceived social implications. Now, in view of the rapidly expanding purview of neuroscience and the growing array of technologic developments capable of affecting or monitoring cognition, the emerging field of neuroethics calls for a consideration of the social and ethical implications of neuroscientific discoveries and trends. To negotiate the complex ethical issues at stake in new and emerging kinds of technologies for improving human cognition, we need to overcome political, disciplinary, and religious sectarianism. We need analytical models that protect values of personhood at the heart of a functional democracy-values that allow, as much as possible, for individual decision-making, despite transformations in our understanding and ability to manipulate cognitive processes. Addressing cognitive enhancement from the legal and ethical notion of "cognitive liberty" provides a powerful tool for assessing and encouraging NBIC developments.

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... A pioneering step toward neurorights was marked by Boire's (2001) and Sententia's (2004) work on the notion of "cognitive liberty" in the early 2000s. Sententia (2004, p. 227) defined cognitive liberty as "the right and freedom to control one's own consciousness and electrochemical thought process." ...
... Boire (2001), for instance, developed his reflections on cognitive liberty in a dialog with ongoing debates on the ethics of neuroimaging and mind reading. In a similar fashion, Sententia (2004) developed her definition and normative analysis of cognitive liberty by taking stock of the ongoing neuroethical debate on cognitive enhancement. ...
... This view of the mind as the ultimate locus of personal freedom has been highly influential for the debate on neurorights. For example, Sententia (2004) implicitly referred to this tradition by arguing that "the right and freedom to control one's own consciousness and electrochemical thought processes is the necessary substrate for just about every other freedom." ...
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In recent years, philosophical-legal studies on neuroscience (mainly in the fields of neuroethics and neurolaw) have given increasing prominence to a normative analysis of the ethical-legal challenges in the mind and brain sciences in terms of rights, freedoms, entitlements and associated obligations. This way of analyzing the ethical and legal implications of neuroscience has come to be known as “neurorights.” Neurorights can be defined as the ethical, legal, social, or natural principles of freedom or entitlement related to a person’s cerebral and mental domain; that is, the fundamental normative rules for the protection and preservation of the human brain and mind. Although reflections on neurorights have received ample coverage in the mainstream media and have rapidly become a mainstream topic in the public neuroethics discourse, the frequency of such reflections in the academic literature is still relatively scarce. While the prominence of the neurorights debate in public opinion is crucial to ensure public engagement and democratic participation in deliberative processes on this issue, its relatively sporadic presence in the academic literature poses a risk of semantic-normative ambiguity and conceptual confusion. This risk is exacerbated by the presence of multiple and not always reconcilable terminologies. Several meta-ethical, normative ethical, and legal-philosophical questions need to be solved in order to ensure that neurorights can be used as effective instruments of global neurotechnology governance and be adequately imported into international human rights law. To overcome the shortcomings above, this paper attempts to provide a comprehensive normative-ethical, historical and conceptual analysis of neurorights. In particular, it attempts to (i) reconstruct a history of neurorights and locate these rights in the broader history of idea, (ii) outline a systematic conceptual taxonomy of neurorights, (iii) summarize ongoing policy initiatives related to neurorights, (iv) proactively address some unresolved ethico-legal challenges, and (v) identify priority areas for further academic reflection and policy work in this domain.
... La primera era la del diagnóstico de patologías neurológicas y la segunda, la del tratamiento de tales patologías; si bien ya se diagnosticaban y se trataban, el avance en estos temas se incrementó enormemente. Por un lado como consecuencia de esto y, por el otro lado, por el desarrollo de las tecnologías NBIC [11] (acrónimo de los prefijos en lengua inglesa nano, bio, info y cogno), empezó a hablarse de la posibilidad de tratar a sanos o, en otras palabras, de intervenir en el cerebro de sujetos sin patología previa demostrable con el fin de mejorarlos. Y del tema de la llamada mejora humana [12], que involucraba ideas como hablar de un transhumanismo para pasar a un estado de poshumanismo se llegó a otro punto de arranque: el intento de aplicar métodos neurocientíficos para estudiar aspectos que no tenían que ver directamente con la clínica, es decir, ni con el diagnóstico ni con el tratamiento de pacientes. ...
... Un trabajo pionero en la investigación empírica en neuroética empleando neuroimagen funcional es el de Joshua D. Greene, que inicia esta nueva era de la búsqueda del funcionamiento neurobiológico ante dilemas éticos [61]. Al hacer la primera recopilación sistemática, Haidt y Greene encontraron que las áreas cerebrales implicadas en la ética corresponderían a las siguientes (indicamos entre paréntesis las áreas de Brodmann): giro frontal medial (9, 10); corteza cingulada posterior, precuneal y retrosplenial (7, 31); surco temporal superior y lóbulo parietal inferior (39); corteza orbitofrontal y corteza frontal ventromedial (10,11); polo temporal (38); amígdala; corteza dorsolateral prefrontal (9, 10, 46); y lóbulo parietal (7,40) [62]. ...
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Introducción. El desarrollo que han tenido las neurociencias ha avanzado de una manera rápida y espectacular. Puntos clave para ello son la introducción de las técnicas de neuroimagen funcional y el empuje del proyecto ‘década del cerebro’. Este desarrollo también ha permitido que surjan nuevas disciplinas como la neuroética. Desarrollo. Quienes han trabajado en neuroética pueden dividirse en tres grupos (neurorreduccionistas, neuroescépticos y neurocríticos), y cada grupo tiene diferentes posturas de lo que es la neuroética, con varios alcances y limitaciones en sus propuestas. Conclusiones. La neuroética es una disciplina que antes del año 2002 se entiende en exclusiva como una ética de la neurociencia (una rama de la bioética) y, a partir de esa fecha, se entiende también como una neurociencia de la ética (una nueva disciplina). El neurorreduccionismo propone que toda la vida ética tiene una base cerebral que determina los actos éticos, el neuroescepticismo argumenta que no se puede considerar la neurociencia como una función normativa y el neurocriticismo considera que los avances neurocientíficos no se pueden ignorar y se deben tomar en cuenta de algún modo para la elaboración de las teorías éticas.
... The right to autonomy is further connected to the concept of choice, which implies that individuals have the freedom to choose. With regard to neuroscience, this means consequently that individuals should have the right to choose whether neuroscientific methods are applied or not, and to what exact extent (Sententia, 2004). Relating it to chemical castration, for example, sexual offenders should have the right to choose a treatment with anti-androgenic drugs, if they wish to voluntarily control their sexual urges (Berlin, 1997). ...
... Hence, the use of such technologies or drugs should not be forced (Spalding, 1998). Sententia (2004) puts it somewhat differently by stating that individuals should not be coerced to use technologies or to take drugs, which have an impact on their brain, as long as their future behaviour does not cause danger to others. ...
... Proponents of cognitive liberty suggest considering it a "fundamental human right" as well as "a central legal principle guiding the regulation of neurotechnologies" (Ibid.). The reason of its fundamental function stems from the fact that "the right and freedom to control one's own consciousness and electrochemical thought processes is the necessary substrate for just about every other freedom" (Sententia 2004). In fact, as Bublitz argued, "it is hard to conceive any conception of a legal subject in which the mind and mental capacities (e.g. ...
... As such, cognitive liberty resembles the notion of 'freedom of thought' which is usually considered the essential justification of other freedoms such as freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion. Not surprisingly, Sententia (2004) presented cognitive liberty as a conceptual update of freedom of thought that "takes into account the power we now have, and increasingly will have to monitor and manipulate cognitive function". Some legal scholars such as Boire and Sententia have interpreted the right to cognitive liberty with special focus on the protection of individual freedom and self-determination from the State. ...
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Rapid advancements in human neuroscience and neurotechnology open unprecedented possibilities for accessing, collecting, sharing and manipulating information from the human brain. Such applications raise important challenges to human rights principles that need to be addressed to prevent unintended consequences. This paper assesses the implications of emerging neurotechnology applications in the context of the human rights framework and suggests that existing human rights may not be sufficient to respond to these emerging issues. After analysing the relationship between neuroscience and human rights, we identify four new rights that may become of great relevance in the coming decades: the right to cognitive liberty, the right to mental privacy, the right to mental integrity, and the right to psychological continuity.
... Proponents of cognitive liberty suggest considering it a "fundamental human right" as well as "a central legal principle guiding the regulation of neurotechnologies" (Ibid.). The reason of its fundamental function stems from the fact that "the right and freedom to control one's own consciousness and electrochemical thought processes is the necessary substrate for just about every other freedom" (Sententia 2004). In fact, as Bublitz argued, "it is hard to conceive any conception of a legal subject in which the mind and mental capacities (e.g. ...
... As such, cognitive liberty resembles the notion of 'freedom of thought' which is usually considered the essential justification of other freedoms such as freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion. Not surprisingly, Sententia (2004) presented cognitive liberty as a conceptual update of freedom of thought that "takes into account the power we now have, and increasingly will have to monitor and manipulate cognitive function". Some legal scholars such as Boire and Sententia have interpreted the right to cognitive liberty with special focus on the protection of individual freedom and self-determination from the State. ...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid advancements in human neuroscience and neurotechnology open unprecedented possibilities for accessing, collecting, sharing and manipulating information from the human brain. Such applications raise important challenges to human rights principles that need to be addressed to prevent unintended consequences. This paper assesses the implications of emerging neurotechnology applications in the context of the human rights framework and suggests that existing human rights may not be sufficient to respond to these emerging issues. After analyzing the relationship between neuroscience and human rights, we identify four new rights that may become of great relevance in the coming decades: the right to cognitive liberty, the right to mental privacy, the right to mental integrity, and the right to psychological continuity.
... Los partidarios de la libertad cognitiva sugieren considerarla también como un "derecho humano fundamental", como "un principio jurídico central que guíe la regulación de las neurotecnologías" (Bublitz, 2013, p. 234). La razón de su función fundamental se deriva del hecho de que "el derecho y la libertad de controlar la propia conciencia y los propios procesos electroquímicos de pensamiento son el sustrato necesario para cualquier otra libertad" (Sententia, 2004). De hecho, como argumentó Bublitz, "es difícil articular cualquier concepción de un sujeto jurídico en la que la mente y las capacidades mentales (por ejemplo, actuar a partir de razones o la deliberación) no se encuentren entre sus condiciones constitutivas necesarias" (2013, p. 242). ...
... Como tal, la libertad cognitiva se asemeja a la noción de "libertad de pensamiento" que suele considerarse como la justificación esencial de otras libertades, como la libertad de elección, la libertad de expresión, la libertad de prensa y la libertad religiosa. No es sorprendente que Sententia (2004) presente a la libertad cognitiva como una actualización conceptual de la libertad de pensamiento que HACIA NUEVOS DERECHOS HUMANOS EN LA ERA DE LA NEUROCIENCIA Y LA NEUROTECNOLOGÍA "tiene en cuenta el poder que tenemos ahora, y tendremos cada vez en mayor medida, de vigilar y manipular la función cognitiva". Algunos estudiosos del derecho como Boire y Sententia han interpretado el derecho a la libertad cognitiva con especial énfasis en la protección de la libertad individual y la autodeterminación respecto del Estado. ...
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Los rápidos avances en neurociencia y neurotecnología abren un conjunto de posibilidades sin precedentes en el acceso, colecta, diseminación y manipulación de datos del cerebro humano. Estos desarrollos plantean importantes desafíos a los derechos humanos que deben abordarse para evitar consecuencias no deseadas. Este trabajo evalúa las implicaciones de los diferentes usos de las neurotecnologías en relación a los derechos humanos y sugiere que el marco actual de derechos humanos puede no ser suficiente para responder a estos desafíos emergentes. Después de analizar la relación entre neurociencia y derechos humanos, identificamos cuatro nuevos derechos que pueden ser de gran relevancia en las próximas décadas: el derecho a la libertad cognitiva, el derecho a la privacidad mental, el derecho a la integridad mental y el derecho a la continuidad psicológica.
... The above mentioned first obligation on a state to protect cognitive liberty directly applies to government access to neuroprosthetic devices, and would also seek to protect individuals from having their mental processes altered or monitored without their consent or knowledge. Though cognitive liberty is often defined as an individual's freedom from state interference with their cognition, Jan Bublitz and Reinhard Merkel of the University of Hamburg, suggest that cognitive liberty should also prevent other non-state entities from interfering with an individual's mental "inner realm" [42]. Of relevance for an emerging law of cyborgs, Bublitz and Merkel propose the introduction of a new criminal offense punishing interventions interfering with another's mental integrity by undermining mental control or exploiting pre-existing mental weakness [41]. ...
... direct interventions that reduce or impair cognitive capacities such as memory, concentration, and willpower; alter preferences, beliefs, or behavioral dispositions; elicit inappropriate emotions; or inflict clinically identifiable mental injuries would all be prima facie impermissible and subject to criminal prosecution" [41]. Weighing in, Wyre Sententia of the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics also expressed concern that corporations and other non-state entities might utilize emerging neurotechnologies to alter individuals' mental processes without their consent [42]. ...
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As we become more and more enhanced with cyborg technology, significant issues of law and policy are raised. For example, as cyborg devices implanted within the body create a class of people with enhanced motor and computational abilities, how should the law and policy respond when the abilities of such people surpass those of the general population? And what basic human and legal rights should be afforded to people equipped with cyborg technology as they become more machine and less biology? As other issues of importance, if a neuroprosthetic device is accessed by a third party and done to edit one’s memory or to plant a new memory in one’s mind, or even to place an ad for a commercial product in one’s consciousness, should there be a law of cognitive liberty or of “neuro-advertising” that applies? This paper discusses laws and statutes enacted across several jurisdictions which apply to cyborg technologies with a particular emphasis on legal doctrine which relates to neuroprosthetic devices.
... A second ethical sticking-point of amphetamines as cognitive enhancers relates to the issue of personal autonomy. As Sententia (2004) argues, every person has the right to think independently, and to have full "autonomy over their brain chemistry." Sententia (2004) also points out that individuals have the sole right to control their "brain states and mental processes" and should not be within the jurisdiction of governments or military agencies to do otherwise. ...
... As Sententia (2004) argues, every person has the right to think independently, and to have full "autonomy over their brain chemistry." Sententia (2004) also points out that individuals have the sole right to control their "brain states and mental processes" and should not be within the jurisdiction of governments or military agencies to do otherwise. Furthermore, a solider has the right to return to society in a state where he or she can contribute to society (Russo 2007). ...
Article
The growing area of military bio-technologies, especially the use of cogniceuticals, raises several ethical concerns for military physicians. These include the role of military physicians in prescribing amphetamines whose long-term effects are largely unknown, and the possible undermining of the ethic of “do no harm,” since amphetamines may diminish a soldier’s moral responsibility. Below, we outline some important questions relating to the ethics of amphetamines and medical military physicians.
... As mentioned by researchers, "What are the implications for mental autonomy when wearable computers become wet-wired to our own minds and memory is augmented by a high-speed wireless connection to the Web?". Hence there is a need for brain privacy and cognitive liberty [10]. ...
... Some implications of cognitive technology have sparked ethical controversy. These include issues of cognitive enhancement and augmentation (Farah et al. 2004;Sententia 2004;Yuste et al. 2017), superhuman intelligence (Russell et al. 2015), agency and identity (Gilbert 2017;Yuste et al. 2017), human-machine hybridization (Ienca 2018), algorithmic bias (Kirkpatrick 2016;Yuste et al. 2017) and others. More recently, the application of CTs for purposes such as military dominance, surveillance, and cybercriminality has also associated CT to the ethical problem of dual-use Taddeo and Floridi 2018). ...
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Cognitive technology is an umbrella term sometimes used to designate the realm of technologies that assist, augment or simulate cognitive processes or that can be used for the achievement of cognitive aims. This technological macro-domain encompasses both devices that directly interface the human brain as well as external systems that use artificial intelligence to simulate or assist (aspects of) human cognition. As they hold the promise of assisting and augmenting human cognitive capabilities both individually and collectively, cognitive technologies could produce, in the next decades, a significant effect on human cultural evolution. At the same time, due to their dual-use potential, they are vulnerable to being coopted by State and non-State actors for non-benign purposes (e.g. cyberterrorism, cyberwarfare and mass surveillance) or in manners that violate democratic values and principles. Therefore, it is the responsibility of technology governance bodies to align the future of cognitive technology with democratic principles such as individual freedom, avoidance of centralized, equality of opportunity and open development. This paper provides a preliminary description of an approach to the democratization of cognitive technologies based on six normative ethical principles: avoidance of centralized control, openness, transparency, inclusiveness, user-centeredness and convergence. This approach is designed to universalize and evenly distribute the potential benefits of cognitive technology and mitigate the risk that such emerging technological trend could be coopted by State or non-State actors in ways that are inconsistent with the principles of liberal democracy or detrimental to individuals and groups.
... 13 Second, the implementation of CE technologies should be guided by a procedural, 14 evidence-based approach that prioritizes those interventions that have demonstrably higher Cognitive liberty has often been presented by scholars as the fundamental level of self-4 determination, because "the right and freedom to control one's own consciousness and 5 electrochemical thought processes is the necessary substrate for just about every other 6 freedom (p. 227)" (Sententia, 2004). It is worth noting, however, that the right to cognitive 7 liberty may not be an absolute but a relative right. ...
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Population ageing and the global burden of dementia pose a major challenge for human societies and a priority for public health. Cognitive enhancement, i.e. the targeted amplification of core cognitive abilities, is raising increasing attention among researchers as an effective strategy to complement traditional therapeutic and assistive approaches, and reduce the impact of age-related cognitive disability. In this paper, we discuss the possible applicability of cognitive enhancement for public health purposes to mitigate the burden of population ageing and dementia. After discussing the promises and challenges associated with enhancing ageing citizens and people with cognitive disabilities, we argue that global societies have a moral obligation to consider the careful use of cognitive enhancement technologies as a possible strategy to improve individual and public health. In addition, we address a few primary normative issues and possible objections that could arise from the implementation of public health-oriented cognitive enhancement technologies.
... A similar problem applies to novel issues, such as cognitive enhancement, 89 or newly identified technological dilemmas, such as functional MRI (fMRI) and privacy of the mind. 90 Even if a cluster of original topics could be singled out, it remains a weak basis for the establishment of a new field. Why would we think that new questions could not be answered using old tools? ...
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Common understandings of neuroethics, that is, of its distinctive nature, are premised on two distinct sets of claims: (1) neuroscience can change views about the nature of ethics itself and neuroethics is dedicated to reaping such an understanding of ethics, and (2) neuroscience poses challenges distinct from other areas of medicine and science and neuroethics tackles those issues. Critiques have rightfully challenged both claims, stressing how the first may lead to problematic forms of reductionism whereas the second relies on debatable assumptions about the nature of bioethics specialization and development. Informed by philosophical pragmatism and our experience in neuroethics, we argue that these claims are ill founded and should give way to pragmatist reconstructions; namely, that neuroscience, much like other areas of empirical research on morality, can provide useful information about the nature of morally problematic situations, but does not need to promise radical and sweeping changes to ethics based on neuroscientism. Furthermore, the rationale for the development of neuroethics as a specialized field need not to be premised on the distinctive nature of the issues it tackles or of neurotechnologies. Rather, it can espouse an understanding of neuroethics as both a scholarly and a practical endeavor dedicated to resolving a series of problematic situations raised by neurological and psychiatric conditions.
... Could lower-level cognitive alterations have unexpected effects on higher-level aspects of cognition? If so, the use of NIBS, while medically safe, might pose ethical challenges regarding freedom of personal belief-or, more broadly, what is sometimes called "cognitive liberty" (Sententia, 2004). ...
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As noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) technology advances, these methods may become increasingly capable of influencing complex networks of mental functioning. We suggest that these might include cognitive and affective processes underlying personality and belief systems, which would raise important questions concerning personal identity and autonomy. We give particular attention to the relationship between personal identity and belief, emphasizing the importance of respecting users' personal values. We posit that research participants and patients should be encouraged to take an active approach to considering the personal implications of altering their own cognition, particularly in cases of neurocognitive “enhancement.” We suggest that efforts to encourage careful consideration through the informed consent process would contribute usefully to studies and treatments that use NIBS.
... Linked to the concept of sovereignty over one's "cognitive heritage," cognitive liberty would consist of a right similar to the one of inviolability of the brain from the state or from third parties. Nevertheless, it includes the freedom to agree to direct interventions, appropriate to enhance one's cognitive structure 3 (Sententia 2004). ...
... Според Sententia (2004) когнитивната слобода како сложен концепт што опфаќа повеќе заемно поврзани принципи е основно човеково право да размислува независно, да го искористи целиот когнитивен капацитет, и да располага со целосна автономија врз хемиските процеси во мозокот. Кога се спроведуваат истражувања за да се разбере мозочното функционирање, покрај примената на невронаучни техники се прави и интелектуално опсервирање на мозокот, а со тоа се наметнува и потребата од проширување на човековите права за да се опфати заштитата на податоците и на приватноста на невронската активност, а исто така да се обезбеди и поголема претпазливост во чувањето на податоците во дигиталните екосистеми. ...
... Where mental privacy is threatened, cognitive liberty may suffer. 'Cognitive liberty' includes the idea that one ought to be free from brain manipulation in order to think one's own thoughts (Sententia 2006). This concept often arises in the context of neuro-interventions in terms of law or psychiatry, or neuroenhancement (Boire 2001). ...
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Brain reading technologies are rapidly being developed in a number of neuroscience fields. These technologies can record, process, and decode neural signals. This has been described as ‘mind reading technology’ in some instances, especially in popular media. Should the public at large, be concerned about this kind of technology? Can it really read minds? Concerns about mind-reading might include the thought that, in having one’s mind open to view, the possibility for free deliberation, and for self-conception, are eroded where one isn’t at liberty to privately mull things over. Themes including privacy, cognitive liberty, and self-conception and expression appear to be areas of vital ethical concern. Overall, this article explores whether brain reading technologies are really mind reading technologies. If they are, ethical ways to deal with them must be developed. If they are not, researchers and technology developers need to find ways to describe them more accurately, in order to dispel unwarranted concerns and address appropriately those that are warranted.
... In terms of civil liberties, we encounter two main scholarly debates on the freedom of our mental states and capacities: (1) The mens mea question mentioned above (often framed in terms of 'freedom of thought'), i.e. the freedom from unwanted interference with one's mental states and/or cognitive capacities by others (i.e. 'negative liberty') [60][61][62][63][64][65]; and (2) the positive freedom to (for some involving the fundamental right to) maximize / fully realize one's cognitive capacities, involving the right to employ methods for cognitive / neural enhancement (also referred to as 'cognitive liberty') [66][67][68][69][70]. ...
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The focus of this paper are the ethical, legal and social challenges for ensuring the responsible use of “big brain data”—the recording, collection and analysis of individuals’ brain data on a large scale with clinical and consumer-directed neurotechnological devices. First, I highlight the benefits of big data and machine learning analytics in neuroscience for basic and translational research. Then, I describe some of the technological, social and psychological barriers for securing brain data from unwarranted access. In this context, I then examine ways in which safeguards at the hardware and software level, as well as increasing “data literacy” in society, may enhance the security of neurotechnological devices and protect the privacy of personal brain data. Regarding ethical and legal ramifications of big brain data, I first discuss effects on the autonomy, the sense of agency and authenticity, as well as the self that may result from the interaction between users and intelligent, particularly closed-loop, neurotechnological devices. I then discuss the impact of the “datafication” in basic and clinical neuroscience research on the just distribution of resources and access to these transformative technologies. In the legal realm, I examine possible legal consequences that arises from the increasing abilities to decode brain states and their corresponding subjective phenomenological experiences on the hitherto inaccessible privacy of these information. Finally, I discuss the implications of big brain data for national and international regulatory policies and models of good data governance.
... Human flourishing in many of its declinations-albeit not all of those proposed in different human cultures-feeds on freedom of thought understood as a "private repository" where nothing and no one can go without the person's consent. In fact, it has been claimed that "the right and freedom to control one's own consciousness and electrochemical thought processes is the necessary substrate for just about every other freedom" (Sententia, 2004). In this sense, cognitive freedom is a new form of freedom of thought that "takes into account the power we now have, and increasingly we will have, to monitor and manipulate cognitive function" (Ib.). ...
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There are many kinds of neural prostheses available or being researched today. In most cases they are intended to cure or improve the condition of patients affected by some cerebral deficiency. In other cases, their goal is to provide new means to maintain or improve an individual's normal performance. In all these circumstances, one of the possible risks is that of violating the privacy of brain contents (which partly coincide with mental contents) or of depriving individuals of full control over their thoughts (mental states), as the latter are at least partly detectable by new prosthetic technologies. Given the (ethical) premise that the absolute privacy and integrity of the most relevant part of one's brain data is (one of) the most valuable and inviolable human right(s), I argue that a (technical) principle should guide the design and regulation of new neural prostheses. The premise is justified by the fact that whatever the coercion, the threat or the violence undergone, the person can generally preserve a “private repository” of thought in which to defend her convictions and identity, her dignity, and autonomy. Without it, the person may end up in a state of complete subjection to other individuals. The following functional principle is that neural prostheses should be technically designed and built so as to prevent such outcomes. They should: (a) incorporate systems that can find and signal the unauthorized detection, alteration, and diffusion of brain data and brain functioning; (b) be able to stop any unauthorized detection, alteration, and diffusion of brain data. This should not only regard individual devices, but act as a general (technical) operating principle shared by all interconnected systems that deal with decoding brain activity and brain functioning.
... Mental integrity is also perceived as one of the most basic human rights (Lavazza, 2018). Thus, the importance of the freedom to control one's own consciousness and electrochemical thought processes is cardinal (Sententia, 2006). The right to mental integrity is protected by the third article of the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency. ...
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Purpose: the present paper aims to explore the origins of neuromarketing, its current position, technologies and major limitations, as well as to discuss its possible future development. Design/methodology/approach: this is a theoretical article. For its purposes an in-depth literature review has been conducted. Additionally, in order to shed light on challenges faced by researchers using neuromarketing tools, the currently available knowledge has been synthesized. Findings: the study has shown that neuromarketing technologies provide invaluable information on the subconscious mental processes influencing the customer’s behaviour. However, despite their considerable scientific potential, they pose potential threats regarding their unauthorised use. Hence, the research emphasises the need to maintain particularly high standards and to protect people against inappropriate and unethical use of neuromarketing strategies . Originality/value: the paper can be used by theoreticians and practitioners of neuroeconomics who want to deepen their knowledge of research and tools used in neuromarketing. It presents the most frequently used technologies as well as the opportunities and threats related to their use in an in-depth and innovative way.
... In view of the advances in digital and neuroscientific technologies, enabling to access, alter, and manipulate mental states, scholars have been debating the case for introducing novel fundamental rights over the mind, such as rights to cognitive liberty, mental integrity, and mental self-determination (Boire 2001;Sententia 2004;Bublitz and Merkel 2014;Ienca and Andorno 2017;Lavazza 2018;Bublitz 2020a). At the same time, others have argued that such rights, protecting from interferences with the mind, are already enshrined in existing human rights law, mainly in the right to mental integrity and the right to freedom of thought (Michalowski 2020;. ...
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Extended Reality (XR) systems, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), provide a digital simulation either of a complete environment, or of particular objects within the real world. Today, XR is used in a wide variety of settings, including gaming, design, engineering, and the military. In addition, XR has been introduced into psychology, cogni-tive sciences and biomedicine for both basic research as well as diagnosing or treating neurological and psychiatric disorders. In the context of XR, the simulated 'reality' can be controlled and people may safely learn to cope with their feelings and behavior. XR also enables to simulate environments that cannot easily be accessed or created otherwise. Therefore, Extended Reality systems are thought to be a promising tool in the resocializa-tion of criminal offenders, more specifically for purposes of risk assessment and treatment of forensic patients. Employing XR in forensic settings raises ethical and legal intricacies which are not raised in case of most other healthcare applications. Whereas a variety of nor-mative issues of XR have been discussed in the context of medicine and consumer usage, the debate on XR in forensic settings is, as yet, straggling. By discussing two general arguments in favor of employing XR in criminal justice, and two arguments calling for caution in this regard, the present paper aims to broaden the current ethical and legal debate on XR applications to their use in the resocialization of criminal offenders, mainly focusing on forensic patients.
... We prefer to reserve the term 'right to mental integrity' to refer to a right against mental interference since this parallels what we think is the dominant use of the term 'right to bodily integrity'. For other authors who use the term 'right to cognitive liberty' to refer to (something close to) what we call the right to mental integrity, seeSententia (2004),Bublitz (2013), and Bublitz(2015). ...
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Many states recognize a legal right to bodily integrity, understood as a right against significant, nonconsensual interference with one’s body. Recently, some have called for the recognition of an analogous legal right to mental integrity: a right against significant, nonconsensual interference with one’s mind. In this chapter, we describe and distinguish three different rationales for recognizing such a right. The first appeals to case-based intuitions to establish a distinctive duty not to interfere with others’ minds; the second holds that, if we accept a legal right to bodily integrity, then we must, on pain of philosophical inconsistency, accept a case for an analogous right over the mind; and the third holds that recent technological developments create a need for a legal right to mental integrity.
... EST et al, 2014;ALBERS, 2014) such as 1) Privacy of person encompassing the right to keep body functions and body characteristics, such as genetic codes and biometrics, and Integrity of a person's body 3 2) Privacy of personal behavior and action (NIESSENBAUM, 2010) 3) privacy of personal data and image, that may even lie outside the individuals control e.g. in the case of "Neurodata" (HALLINAN et al, 2014) 4) privacy of personal, non-intercepted communications 5) privacy of thoughts and feelings 6) privacy of location and space 7) privacy of association (including group privacy) or 8) privacy of personal experience (CLARKE, 1997(CLARKE, , 2014 inside either autonomous or heteronomous modulation of control in relation to Big data, "dividuals" (DELEUZE, 1992), body "data doubles" and surveillance (LYON, 2014), often it seems we have to be able to-say-no, disconnect or enter a syncope (Nancy) of too much resonance, that aims to determine us. Hereby more questions arise about (e) Cognitive Liberty (SENTENTIA, 2004;BUBLITZ;MERKEL, 2014) and Freedom of Thought (BUBLITZ, 2015) and action, as well as human self-determination and autonomy (f) Safety issues, (g) Equitable Access/ Technological Inclusion or (h) Justice and state of law issues and (i) human self-definition, self-image and future (strategic) visions of being human, societies and their values. These complex issues in Philosophy of Human Technology call for a scrutinizing of emerging technologies in their transformative potential for human beings, life and human fundamental rights and freedoms, in the sense of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the spirit of the Declaration of ROME on RRI (2014) and an amplification of the OVIEDO Convention (1997) of Human Rights -not only with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine as fields challenging human fundamental rights and liberties, but also to take into account other techno-and data-intensive sciences and the technological transformations given in convergent and emergent technologies. ...
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This article hinges on a complex and interdisciplinary field of study named “Philosophy of Human Technology” in which a first non-exhaustive map of ethical, legal and social, technological issues is presented: Technologies constitute, magnify, amplify human experiences, but can also enslave or put human experience and life at risk for example what concerns the right to a “private Life”. The second part of this paper proposes to think three possible interfaces of the topic of Human Cognitive Enhancement. Firstly the Body-electronic interface such as in the organ-on a chip simulation of an externalized human organ function, secondly the optogenetic and general genetic “editing” interface in which new technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 open up questions for the future of human beings and our self-determination. Third -and more explicitly- the virtual-immersive interface, exemplified by cognitive enhancement by Avatar schizophrenia therapy and uncanny valley effects of digital body doubles will be introduced. The classic rubber-hand illusion had brought new insights into the plasticity of the body- image and the embodiment of the self, by underlining the strong influence of exteroception for the transformation of the bodily self. We will follow these thoughts on Avatar enhancements in schizophrenia therapy and scrutinize as well research ethical issues. Finally a short outlook on the question of two different types of technological detachment in tension in a Philosophy of Human Technology in which Cognitive Enhancement technologies are subjected to two types of technological detachments a) material/somatic substitution and b) detachment as a topos of independence and autonomy is hinted on.
... This progress has resulted in a broad spectrum of clinical applications for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care of people with neurological and psychiatric disorders. Due to the pace of such progress, authors have called this "the neurotechnology revolution" (Scott, 2013). Furthermore, the reduction in hardware costs and the increase in the size of the neurotechnology market, have recently favoured the spillover of neurotechnological applications into various extra-clinical areas of human activity. ...
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Neurotechnologies are emerging technologies that establish a connection pathway to the human brain through which human neuronal activity can be recorded and/or altered. These technologies open novel opportunities for exploring, influencing, or intercommunicating with the human brain. Medical neurotechnologies offer the potential to help people with neurological or psychiatric conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke, and major depressive disorder. Non-medical neurotechnology systems provide new tools and methods to monitor and modulate brain activity in healthy subjects and to interact with digital devices. Intervening effectively and safely in the human brain through neurotechnology is a scientific frontier that must be reached for the good of humanity. At the same time, however, it raises major ethical and legal challenges. Neuroethics and neurolaw are the two main areas of scholarship that address, respectively, the ethical and legal issues raised by our ever-improving ability to intervene in the brain through neurotechnology. In the past decade, philosophical-legal studies in the fields of neuroethics and neurolaw have given increasing prominence to a normative analysis of the ethical- legal challenges in the mind and brain sciences in terms of rights, freedoms, entitlements, and associated obligations. This way of analyzing the ethical and legal implications of neuroscience has come to be known as “neurorights”. Neurorights can be defined as the ethical, legal, social, or natural principles of freedom or entitlement related to a person’s cerebral and mental domain; that is, the fundamental normative rules for the protection and preservation of the human brain and mind. In their most popular version, neurorights have been defined as an emerging category of human rights designed to protect the brain-mind sphere of the person. Reflections on neurorights have received ample coverage in the mainstream media and have become a mainstream topic in the public neuroethics discourse. Further, they are rapidly becoming an emerging regulatory tool of international politics. Yet, several meta-ethical, normative-ethical, legal-philosophical and practical challenges need to be solved to ensure that neurorights can be used as effective instruments of global neurotechnology governance and be adequately imported into international human rights law. To overcome these challenges, this report attempts to provide a comprehensive normative-ethical, historical and conceptual analysis of neurorights. In particular, the objective of this report is fivefold as it attempts to (i) provide an overview of current and likely future biomedical neurotechnologies; (ii) reconstruct a history of neurorights and situate these rights in the broader history of ideas; (iii) summarize ongoing policy initiatives related to neurorights in the present international policy landscape; (iv) proactively address some unresolved ethical-legal challenges; and (v) identify priority areas for further academic reflection and policy work in this domain. The findings of this report suggest that neurorights reflect fundamental human interests that are deeply rooted in the history of ideas. These rights introduce normative specifications related to the protection of the person’s cerebral and mental domain that are not merely repetitive of existing human rights frameworks, but add a new, fundamental level of normative protection. This corroborates the view that human beings generally enjoy a set of rights against certain kinds of interferences in their brains and minds, including those interferences involved in the misuse of neurotechnologies. In addition to protecting against the misuse of neurotechnology, the neurorights spectrum also contains moral and legal provisions aimed at ensuring that neuroscientific and neurotechnological progress is used to empower people and improve human well-being (positive rights). To a large extent, the findings of this report also corroborate the normatively stronger thesis that the fundamental rights and freedoms relating to the human brain and mind should be seen as the fundamental substrate of all other rights and freedoms. This overview indicates that there is not yet complete consensus regarding the conceptual-normative boundaries and terminology of neurorights. Divergences exist in relation to how these rights are interpreted, named, and conceptually articulated. Nonetheless, some degree of convergence is emerging around three main families of neurorights. First and foremost, the need for specific provisions on the protection of private brain-related information seems to share a high degree of acceptance and recognition. The right to mental privacy appears to be the candidate best equipped conceptually to take on this role. Second, the right to mental integrity appears to have the highest degree of legal entrenchment. While there are some variations in the interpretation of this right, there is full theoretical consensus about the need to protect the person from psychological harm and mental interference. Third, a variety of neurorights candidates have been proposed to preserve and promote the freedom of the human mind and thereby prevent external manipulation. These include evolutionary interpretations of the right to freedom of thought, the right to cognitive liberty, and the right to personal identity. On the other side of the coin, positive rights such as promoting justice and equality— e.g., through ensuring egalitarian access to neurotechnology for biomedical use and promoting patient welfare on the basis of the ethical principle of beneficence—have so far occupied a secondary role in the neurorights debate. Introducing neurorights into the human rights framework may require adding new protocols to existing instruments or even stipulating new entirely devoted to neuroethics and neurolaw. In either case, some fundamental problems such as rights inflation and to provide an adequate normative justification for multilateral instruments ethical, meta-ethical, and legal issues must be addressed in order to overcome neurorights. These include introducing justificatory tests for the introduction of neurorights, clarifying the relationship between moral and legal neurorights and harmonizing neurorights with existing normative instruments. The Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine (Oviedo Convention) offers an ideal platform and normative substrate for the protection and promotion of neurorights. Given its focus on prohibiting the misuse of innovations in biomedicine, protecting the dignity and identity of all human beings, and guaranteeing respect for their integrity and fundamental freedoms, the Convention is well placed for either enshrining neurorights through ad hoc protocols or for serving as a basis for future instruments. Understanding, treating, and augmenting the human brain and mind is one of the great scientific challenges of our age. Achieving these goals in a way that preserves justice, safeguards fundamental rights and human dignity is the corresponding task of ethics and law. Neurorights will likely be a useful tool to accomplish this task.
... Vol. 48, 2021, 105-139, ISSN: 0210-4857, E-ISSN: 2660-9509 técnica se basa en que es sabido que al mentir se producen perturbaciones emocionales vehiculadas fisiológicamente (Gazzaniga, 2005). Su utilización en juicios o en el reconocimiento de sospechosos es una potencial herramienta no exenta de limitaciones técnico-conceptuales (como ya se ha dicho, correlacionar estados emocionales con otros estados mentales actuales o disposicionales), bioéticas (la violación de la "privacidad mental" y la "libertad cognitiva" [Farah, 2005, Sententia, 2004) y legales (el quebranto de los "neuroderechos [Ienca y Andorno, 2017]). ...
Article
La innovación en inteligencia artificial se encuentra en la vanguardia científico-tecnológica y muchas de sus aplicaciones presentan ya una alta interactividad humana. Dado que somos seres emocionales, y que esta cualidad psicobiológica es clave para nuestro posicionamiento en el mundo, parece necesario realizar una profunda reflexión sobre el espectro afectivo de la díada humano-máquina. El presente ensayo utiliza el término “emocionalidad artificial” como concepto holístico capaz de abordar este análisis desde una triple perspectiva: la de las ciencias cognitivas y de la computación, la de la neurociencia y la psicología y la de la filosofía teórica y práctica. Partiendo de la descripción de las emociones naturales, en este estudio se discute sobre la posibilidad técnica y conceptual y sobre las consecuencias bio-psico-sociales de una inteligencia artificial con capacidad de reconocimiento, simulación, manipulación y vivencia emocional. Tras dicho análisis se concluye que las dos primeras capacidades son ya en cierto modo posibles y deseables, mientras que las dos últimas se enfrentan a dificultades tecno-científicas, ontológicas, gnoseológicas y neuroéticas discutidas ampliamente por el transhumanismo.
... Surprisingly, the set of neurorights does not include the rights that seem most promising and perhaps most urgently needed, i.e., a right to mental integrity complementing the legal protection of the person (e.g.,[21,41,56]); or a right to freedom of thought or Cognitive Liberty as discussed by legal scholars for some time (e.g.,[57][58][59][60][61][62]). ...
Article
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This paper analyses recent calls for so called “neurorights”, suggested novel human rights whose adoption is allegedly required because of advances in neuroscience, exemplified by a proposal of the Neurorights Initiative. Advances in neuroscience and technology are indeed impressive and pose a range of challenges for the law, and some novel applications give grounds for human rights concerns. But whether addressing these concerns requires adopting novel human rights, and whether the proposed neurorights are suitable candidates, are a different matter. This paper argues that the proposed rights, as individuals and a class, should not be adopted and lobbying on their behalf should stop. The proposal tends to promote rights inflationism, is tainted by neuroexceptionalism and neuroessentialism, and lacks grounding in relevant scholarship. None of the proposed individual rights passes quality criteria debated in the field. While understandable from a moral perspective, the proposal is fundamentally flawed from a legal perspective. Rather than conjuring up novel human rights, existing rights should be further developed in face of changing societal circumstances and technological possibilities.
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In this chapter, we discuss about the transparency and reliability issues in the practice of the application of neuroscience-based methodologies on relevant marketing stimuli (e.g., neuromarketing). It is hypothesized that one of the reasons of the misperception and overestimation by the public opinion and mass media of the actual capabilities of the neuromarketing to inform marketing researcher is due to the lack of the transparency about the methodologies employed by the neuromarketing companies. In fact, different companies offer services that are based on proprietary computational methods and approaches that are not fully validated or disclosed through scientific publications to the scientific community. This opacity in the methodologies employed by some companies makes it difficult for the scientists to separate supported and unsupported claims of validity of the services offered by those companies. Such confusion is reflected in an often misplaced communication toward the public opinion and the final users of these methodologies about the effective capability of such approach to capture the generation of the decision making of the persons in front of marketing stimuli.
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The idea of the will has led a strange existence. The Oxford English Dictionary traces its first use in the sense of ‘desire, wish, longing; liking, inclination, disposition (to do something)’ to Beowulf in the seventh century and suggests that in modern usage this sense is merged with another — that of ‘the action of willing or choosing to do something; the movement or attitude of the mind which is directed with conscious intention to (and, normally, issues immediately in) some action, physical or mental; volition’ which it first identifies in the Old English of the tenth century. In the nineteenth century, matters of the will were central to philosophy, to the emerging discipline of psychology, and to those concerned with the practical arts for the management of conduct, from pedagogy to passion. Yet today, while the notion of ‘free will’ remains a topic of debate in philosophy and in jurisprudence, the notion of the will itself has largely disappeared from the language of the disciplines of the subjective.
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This chapter discusses three different ways of talking about mood enhancement. First, if we do want to enhance, what is good enhancement? Second, if one wants to enhance, what is the usefulness of enhancement? Third, if we want to enhance, what might be the beneficial (or harmful) effects? To illustrate the conceptual analysis in this chapter, two classes of drugs to enhance mood are used. First is the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the other class is of beta blocking agents, which are claimed to be good as “memory-smoothing” drugs. Three different ways of using the terms “good” or “bad” are shown to be in play in mood enhancement: instrumental goodness and badness, utalitarian goodness and badness, and benefactorial goodness and badness. Mood-improving and memory-smoothing drugs may serve different purposes, which are linked to the general purpose of improving the mood or smoothing memories.
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This chapter talks about cognitive liberty, which asserts the foundational principle of the legal and ethical right to brain privacy, autonomy, and choice in relation to existing pharmacology, as well as anticipated applications of techno-human advances vectored on the brain. The cognitive liberty touches central themes in transhumanist discourse related to cognitive enhancement and morphological freedom, and support a foundational right to cognitive self-design. The very idea of freedom of thought is predicated on a historical, cultural-human bias in favor of individual thinking.
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Since the introduction of Prozac (fluoxetine), a number of so-called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been developed and introduced. These mood enhancers are being presently prescribed for people whose problems are not recognized mental illnesses. It is probable that in the near future the combination of data from advanced biochips and brain imaging will accelerate the development of neurotechnology. So-called neuroceuticals, used for therapy and enhancement, and to improve different aspects of mental health, will be efficient neuromodulators. The scientific, ethical, and social issues raised by mood enhancement and alteration of personal resilience require further exploration. The chapter talks about the notion of personal autonomy, cosmetic psychopharmacology, power for autonomous, and moral accountability in this context. It suggests that empirical research should also cover psychological and sociological research into perceptions and experiences of individuals who have used these drugs.
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Cognitive enhancement, which can be characterized as the attempt to increase cognitive functions such as attention or memory in healthy individuals, has received considerable attention during the last decade, both in the general public and in academic discourse. In spite of a very active interdisciplinary debate which has provided helpful reflections, categorizations and clarifications, the numerous questions and problems related to cognitive enhancement are far from having been exhaustively discussed or even solved. Without any doubt, there are several aspects within this field that require more reflection and further clarifications. In this chapter, which serves as an introduction to the following book, I’ll discuss three of them. The first aspect concerns conceptual issues. Specifically, it concerns the question of what we are talking about when we use the term cognitive enhancement. The second aspect regards the question of how issues in cognitive enhancement should adequately be discussed within society. And the third aspect regards the interplay between individual autonomy and society. The last section of this chapter includes an overview of the contributions to the present book.
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Background: Neuroethics describes several interdisciplinary topics exploring the application and implications of engaging neuroscience in societal contexts. To explore this topic, we present Part 3 of a four-part bibliography of neuroethics' literature focusing on the "ethics of neuroscience." Methods: To complete a systematic survey of the neuroethics literature, 19 databases and 4 individual open-access journals were employed. Searches were conducted using the indexing language of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). A Python code was used to eliminate duplications in the final bibliography. Results: This bibliography consists of 1137 papers, 56 books, and 134 book chapters published from 2002 through 2014, covering ethical issues in neuroimaging, neurogenetics, neurobiomarkers, neuro-psychopharmacology, brain stimulation, neural stem cells, neural tissue transplants, pediatric-specific issues, dual-use, and general neuroscience research issues. These works contain explanations of recent research regarding neurotechnology, while exploring ethical issues in future discoveries and use.
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Humans tend to identify the uniqueness of our brains as the cornerstone of human distinction from other animals (Chapman & Huffman, 2019). Our species has pondered what makes us us at least throughout recorded history. However, recent decades witnessed a quantum leap in capacity for real time empirical observation of living brains. At the same time, rigorous, organized, and collaborative analysis of scientific and clinical observations of human beings across the spectrum of human neurodiversity flourished (Ramachandran, 2012). Examining our brains in action allows for fascinating insights into humanity’s favorite subject; humanity itself. It also creates a profound and unprecedented responsibility for stewardship of our species alongside careful management of our impacts on environments.
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Das Bestreben, durch Einsatz medizinischer Verfahren, psychoaktiver Substanzen oder anderer Methoden bei gesunden Personen eine Verbesserung von Hirnfunktionen zu erreichen (Neuroenhancement), ist in den letzten Jahren verstärkt ins öffentliche Bewusstsein gerückt. Während beginnend mit den 1990er Jahren in erster Linie im Vordergrund stand, mittels Antidepressiva wie insbesondere Prozac® bei gesunden Personen eine Verbesserung der psychischen Befindlichkeit (Stimmungsenhancement) zu bewirken (Kramer 1993; DeGrazia 2000; Elliott 2000), befindet sich seit einigen Jahren der Gesichtspunkt der geistigen Leistungssteigerung (kognitives Enhancement) im Mittelpunkt des Interesses. Hierbei besteht das Ziel darin, eine verbessernde Einflussnahme auf kognitive Funktionen wie Aufmerksamkeit, Konzentrationsfähigkeit oder Gedächtnisleistung zu erreichen.
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This article combines methodologies and explorations from the fields of anthropology and applied ethics in order to examine the ethical assumptions underlying the illegal status of pharmaceutical cognitive enhancers (PCEs) such as Adderall and other prescription stimulants often used to improve concentration, motivation, and alertness. We begin by presenting empirical data from ethnographic fieldwork conducted among university students, professors, and police officers in New York City. The data show that the students are not concerned with the illegality of PCEs, and while some students experience pressures related to performing well, they do not feel pressured into using PCEs. The empirical material furthermore reveals that the practices of the authorities in relation to PCE use are relaxed and do not always reflect the law. We then present a detailed ethical analysis of a certain type of argument in favor of the prohibition of PCEs, which has received little careful analysis in the bioethical literature. Our analysis, drawing on the philosopher Robert Nozick’s specification of coercion and the sociologist N. A. Fitz’s understanding of social pressure, shows that legalization of PCEs would not necessarily involve or bring about direct coercion; nor would it bring about morally problematic forms of coercion or social pressure. While the article shows that prohibition might not make a difference to uses of pharmaceuticals for enhancement, it also questions whether the gray zones between practices of the authorities and the actual law might in some ways be understood as coercive.
Article
Deep fakes have rapidly emerged as one of the most ominous concerns within modern society. The ability to easily and cheaply generate convincing images, audio, and video via artificial intelligence will have repercussions within politics, privacy, law, security, and broadly across all of society. In light of the widespread apprehension, numerous technological efforts aim to develop tools to distinguish between reliable audio/video and the fakes. These tools and strategies will be particularly effective for consumers when their guard is naturally up, for example during election cycles. However, recent research suggests that not only can deep fakes create credible representations of reality, but they can also be employed to create false memories. Memory malleability research has been around for some time, but it relied on doctored photographs or text to generate fraudulent recollections. These recollected but fake memories take advantage of our cognitive miserliness that favors selecting those recalled memories that evoke our preferred weltanschauung. Even responsible consumers can be duped when false but belief-consistent memories, implanted when we are least vigilant can, like a Trojan horse, be later elicited at crucial dates to confirm our pre-determined biases and influence us to accomplish nefarious goals. This paper seeks to understand the process of how such memories are created, and, based on that, proposing ethical and legal guidelines for the legitimate use of fake technologies.
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This chapter discusses the emerging debate regarding the relationship between the concept of Cognitive Liberty and Human Rights. For this reason, after briefly presenting some issues related to the development of recent neurotechnology, the different types of definitions of the concept of cognitive liberty, that have been recently proposed, are illustrated. Starting from these last, this chapter aims to analyze how, the whole relationship between human rights and Cognitive Liberty can change depending on the legislative strategy that one prefers to undertake.
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Entry on "Neuroenhancement" in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online. URL = https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/neuroenhancement/v-1
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fMRI neurofeedback is becoming an increasingly potent tool for modifying human brain activity and function, and interest in its applications is growing. This technique allows researchers to better study the causal relationship between brain and behavior and also has potential for personalized interventions to enhance cognition or mitigate clinical impairments. However, it is difficult to predict the full impact of fMRI neurofeedback training on an individual participant (both positive and negative) given our limited knowledge regarding the safety and efficacy of its use, and regarding the persistence and reversibility of its effects. This raises several ethical concerns. These ethical issues demand even more attention for studies where substantial information is withheld from participants as that can impair their ability to accurately assess the risks and potential benefits for themselves. In addition, as fMRI neurofeedback is translated into more portable and widely accessible modalities the potential for broad social influence arises. The potential ethical concerns associated with this possibility should be proactively communicated to the public to allow development of protective frameworks. Given the complex ethical issues associated with this technology, further consideration and discussion is needed in the fMRI neurofeedback research community.
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In this chapter, I focus on defining freedom of thought and conscience (Section “New Threats to Freedom of Thought and Conscience”) and the new neuroscientific technologies and devices apt to read our mind/brain (Sect. “Neuroscience Crossing the Final Frontier”). In Sect. “New Technologies that Influence Cognitive Processes and Mental Contents”, I explain how digital technologies and devices can influence cognitive processes and mental contents. When exposed to similar stimuli, the “common brain” of human beings may end up becoming very similar among individuals. In this sense, digital technology might be not as neutral as it looks. In Sect. “The Need for and Right to Cognitive Freedom”, I provide a definition of mental integrity and argue why there is a need for a right to cognitive freedom. In Sect. “Using Technology as a Defence Against Technology Itself”, I maintain that we should defend mental integrity by incorporating functional limitations into devices capable of interfering with it.
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This chapter looks at how an American constitutional jurisprudence of freedom of thought might both be a component of, and shape the future development of, existing constitutional rights such as the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and “due process” rights against intrusion into bodily liberty. It also looks at how courts have developed a general template for these constitutional rights and considers how an independent right to freedom of thought or “cognitive liberty” might fit such a template—with a core where the right provides close to absolute protection against certain state interference with thinking and a periphery where the state is given more flexibility, for example, in regulating our use of thought-enhancing technology.
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Freedom of thought is one of the core international human rights, enshrined in Art. 18 of the Universal Declaration and almost all subsequent instruments. It enjoys an exceptionally strong level of protection and cannot be limited. However, it does not play a role in legal practice as its contents and contours remain vague. This chapter discusses the sparse case law and suggests crucial elements for future constructions of the right. In particular, it identifies five explananda that theories of freedom of thought need to address, examines the scope of the right as well as tensions between different conceptions of freedom of thought, and proposes an interpretation of the right with a rationalist tone and special emphasis on freedom of belief. It aslo develops a test for, and a taxonomy of, interferences and suggests narrow exceptions to the unconditional protection.
Article
This book inquires into the swarm of ontological, epistemological, and ethical questions provoked by psychedelic experience in the context of global ecological crisis. Richard M. Doyle is professor of English and science, technology, and society at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of On Beyond Living and Wetwares. © 2011 by The University of Washington Press. All rights reserved.
Article
Background: Evidence of an inverse relationship between central serotonergic (serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine]) system function and impulsive aggressive behavior has been accumulating for more than 2 decades. If so, pharmacological enhancement of serotonin activity should be expected to reduce impulsive aggressive behavior in subjects in whom this behavior is prominent.Methods: A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the selective serotonin-uptake inhibitor fluoxetine hydrochloride was conducted in 40 nonmajor-depressed, nonbipolar or schizophrenic, DSM-III-R personality—disordered individuals with current histories of impulsive aggressive behavior and irritability. Measures included the Overt Aggression Scale—Modified for Outpatients, Clinical Global Impression Rating of Improvement, and several secondary measures of aggression, depression, and anxiety.Results: Fluoxetine, but not placebo, treatment resulted in a sustained reduction in scores on the lrritability and Aggression subscales of the Overt Aggression Scale—Modified for Outpatients that was first apparent during months 2 and 3 of treatment, respectively. Fluoxetine was superior to placebo in the proportion of "responders" on the Clinical Global Impression Rating of Improvement: first at the end of month 1, and then finally demonstrating a sustained drug-placebo difference from the end of month 2 through the end of month 3 of treatment. These results were not influenced by secondary measures of depression, anxiety, or alcohol use.Conclusion: Fluoxetine treatment has an antiaggressive effect on impulsive aggressive individuals with DSM-III-R personality disorder.
Article
Clinical data and uncontrolled observations have suggested that fluoxetine is helpful in some patients with borderline personality disorder. This article describes the results of a 13-week double-blind study of volunteer subjects with mild to moderately severe borderline personality disorder. Thirteen fluoxetine recipients and nine placebo recipients received treatment. Pretreatment and posttreatment measures were obtained for global mood and functioning, anger, and depression. The most striking finding from this study was a clinically and statistically significant decrease in anger among the fluoxetine recipients. This decrease was independent of changes in depression. These data support previous observations that fluoxetine may reduce anger in patients with borderline personality disorder. The number of subjects in this study was small, the placebo responsiveness was high, and the clinical characteristics of the patients were in the mild to moderate range of severity. The data cannot be extrapolated to more severely ill borderline patients, but further study of fluoxetine and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors is indicated in this population.
Article
The reported inverse relationship between indices of central serotonin (5-HT) function and indices of impulsive aggression in human subjects suggests the possibility that enhancement of 5-HT activity will reduce impulsive aggressive behavior. Although evidence for this hypothesis is emerging, the relationship between baseline central 5-HT system function and antiaggressive responses to treatment with 5-HT agents has not yet been examined in human subjects. In this pilot study, we examined the relationship between: a) pretreatment prolactin responses to d-fenfluramine (PRL[d-FEN]) challenge; and b) antiaggressive responses to 12 weeks of treatment with either fluoxetine or placebo in 15 impulsively aggressive personality disordered subjects as observed in a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Among all subjects there were positive correlations between the pretreatment PRL[d-FEN] response and the percent improvement in Overt Aggression Scale-Modified scores for "Aggression" and "Irritability." These correlations were present in the fluoxetine (n = 10), but not in the placebo (n = 5), treated subjects. These data suggest the possibility that the antiaggressive response to fluoxetine is directly, rather than inversely, dependent on the responsiveness of central 5-HT synapses in the brain of impulsive aggressive personality disordered subjects.
Article
To test the hypothesis that traits of aggression and impulsivity correlate negatively with central serotonergic system function in a nonpatient population, a standard fenfluramine challenge (for assessment of serotonergic responsivity) and behavioral measurements germane to aggression/impulsivity were administered to a community-derived sample of 119 men and women. In men, peak prolactin responses to fenfluramine correlated significantly with an interview-assessed life history of aggression (r = -.40, p < .002), the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (r = -.30, p < .03), and traits of Conscientiousness (r = +.30, p < .03), Neuroticism (r = -.31, p < .02) and Angry Hostility (r = -.35, p < .01) on the NEO-Personality Inventory. No significant relationships were observed across all women, although subanalyses restricted to postmenopausal subjects (in whom ovarian influences on prolactin secretion may be mitigated because of diminished estrogen) showed a pattern of behavioral associations somewhat similar to that seen in men. By extending documented relationships between an index of central serotonergic system function and traits of aggression and impulsivity to a more normative range of population variability than is represented in prior literature, this study supports speculation that these associations reflect a basic neurobehavioral dimension of individual differences.
Article
To provide a clinically useful analysis of the relationship between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), in particular fluoxetine and violent or suicidal behaviour. All published papers on Medline and other databases linking serotonin, SSRIs and aggression were reviewed. A small proportion of patients treated with SSRIs may become akathisic and others may show increases in anxiety in the initial phase of treatment, but no increased susceptibility to aggression or suicidality can be connected with fluoxetine or any other SSRI. In fact SSRI treatment may reduce aggression, probably due to positive effects on the serotonergic dysfunction that is implicated in aggressive behaviour directed towards oneself or others. In the absence of convincing evidence to link SSRIs causally to violence and suicide, the recent lay media reports are potentially dangerous, unnecessarily increasing the concerns of depressed patients who are prescribed antidepressants.
Article
TheGuilty Knowledge Test (GKT) has been used extensively to model deception. An association between the brain evoked response potentials and lying on the GKT suggests that deception may be associated with changes in other measures of brain activity such as regional blood flow that could be anatomically localized with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Blood oxygenation level-dependent fMRI contrasts between deceptive and truthful responses were measured with a 4 Tesla scanner in 18 participants performing the GKT and analyzed using statistical parametric mapping. Increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the superior frontal gyrus (SFG), and the left premotor, motor, and anterior parietal cortex was specifically associated with deceptive responses. The results indicate that: (a) cognitive differences between deception and truth have neural correlates detectable by fMRI, (b) inhibition of the truthful response may be a basic component of intentional deception, and (c) ACC and SFG are components of the basic neural circuitry for deception.
Article
The role of serotonin in human aggression and impulsivity was evaluated by administering paroxetine or placebo for 3 weeks and comparing the effects on laboratory measures of aggression and impulsivity among male subjects with a history of conduct disorder. Twelve male subjects with a history of criminal behavior participated in experimental sessions, which measured aggressive and impulsive responses. Six subjects were assigned to placebo treatment and six subjects to placebo and paroxetine treatment. Aggression was measured using the point subtraction aggression paradigm (PSAP), which provides subjects with an aggressive and monetary reinforced response options. Impulsive responses were measured using a paradigm that gives subjects choices between small rewards after short delays versus larger rewards after longer delays. Chronic administration of paroxetine (20 mg/day) for 21 days produced significant decreases in impulsive responses. Decreases in aggressive responses were evident only at the end of paroxetine treatment. Decreases in impulsive and aggressive responses could not be attributed to a non-specific sedative action because monetary reinforced responses were not decreased as has been observed following CNS sedation. Inhibition of serotonin reuptake by paroxetine is the possible mechanism for reductions in aggressive and impulsive responses. These results support other data linking serotonin function and aggression and impulsivity.
Article
There is growing public awareness of the ethical issues raised by progress in many areas of neuroscience. This commentary reviews the issues, which are triaged in terms of their novelty and their imminence, with an exploration of the relevant ethical principles in each case.
Article
To advance awareness of ethical issues in the neurosciences1, 2, 3, we studied historical and emerging trends in neuroimaging, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as a model. Functional MRI has had a significant impact on the neurosciences in the past decade given its wide availability, unprecedented coupling of spatial resolution and safety, and application to a broad range of normative and clinical neurobehavioral phenomena4. Over time, the terrain of fMRI studies has expanded from examination of basic sensorimotor and cognitive processes to topics that more directly relate to human motivation, reasoning and social attitudes. Here we provide empirical validation of these trends and explore what issues they portend for the future.
Brain fingerprinting: databodies to databrains
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