Increasingly big data & the pressing need for international data governance of neuroscience

Understanding the brain requires great effort and the scale of neuroscience research projects is increasing to scale. This means crossing borders in big international research initiatives, and as a result being subject to national and international laws, regulations and policies in both data collection and transfer. While neuroscience data transcends borders, data governance typically stays…

brain

Digital twins & virtual brains: the importance of conceptual clarity and transparency

Researchers are trying to develop digital twins of the human brain by building so-called ‘virtual brains’. Trying to create virtual copies of such a complex organ, that we know increasingly yet still very little about is a great challenge. In a recent publication, Kathinka Evers and Arleen Salles explore philosophical and neuroethical challenges associated with…

Social, ethical & reflective work in the HBP: The publications list

The HBP is characterised by a profound and broad interdisciplinarity, and it is unique among the large international Brain Initiatives in having included social sciences and humanities in the core research from its very beginning, devoting approximately 5% of the budget to this end. We have compiled a list of all articles, books, and reports related…

brain

Neuroimages, artificial intelligence & re-identification of research subjects

Taking images of the brain using magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI for short, also captures the face. For a long time, techniques that remove facial features from neuroimages have allowed for open sharing of anonymised neuroimages. But new developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning have made it possible to re-create the removed facial features…

Webinar 16 June: Addressing dual-use research of concern

Advances in neuroscience and neurotechnology come with promises of new treatments but they also present important societal and ethical concerns including those of dual-use, misuse, and unintended use. Over the past eight years, the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) team of the Human Brain Project (HBP) has undertaken research, engagement, and co-creation activities in collaboration with…

neurons

Culturally shaping developing minds

Are we socially steering evolution by influencing the cultural imprints to be stored in our brains? Recent neuroscientific findings would say so. In a recent paper, Kathinka Evers discusses the potential of being ‘epigenetically proactive’ and adapting our social structures to benefit brain development. Our nervous systems develop in continuous interaction with their immediate physical…

brain

Space, time: bridging the epistemic gap of brain & mind

How do we become ourselves? How does neuronal activity turn into consciousness and the self? One of nature’s great scientific mysteries is the ‘common currency’ of brain and mind. Georg Northoff, Soren Wainio-Theberge and Kathinka Evers suggest looking for a ‘Spatiotemporal Neuroscience’ to dissolve the brain-mind puzzle. Until now, researchers investigating how neural activity turns…