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…

Smartphone

Privacy & data ethics in recent podcast episode

Despite our trusting nature and the convenience of certain apps, it important to keep asking questions about how technology works and how decisions are made. Who is following your life through your smartphone? And why does it matter? Find out more about what ethical issues arise with the implementation of new technology, and why we…

brain

Neuroethics in big brain initiatives

Many ethical and social issues are raised by neuroscientific findings, but neuroscience can also help answer fundamental questions. From the nature of consciousness and morality to the existence of a free will, to name a few. To identify and manage issues raised by brain research, anticipation, reflection, and cross-disciplinary dialogue are key. In a recent…

neurons

How can we ensure responsible neurorobotics?

Neurorobotics exists at the intersection of neuroscience and robotics. Some of the ethical concerns raised by the technology are inherited by its parent(s). Worker safety, systems reliability, and unconscious biases, to name a few. But with new technology comes new ethical and social challenges. A recent publication offers an important first step towards responsible neurorobotics.…

Dual-use in neuroscience: Beyond the civil-military dichotomy

Neuroscience is one of the most promising technologies of this century, with potential for great benefits in health, technology and economy. How can we promote the benefits and minimise the harms of this powerful technology? Inga Ulnicane makes the case for involving scientists and engineers in the process of identifying the dual uses of their…

What is intelligence? Theoretical contributions to AI ethics from the Human Brain Project

Several European projects are contributing tools for applied AI ethics. A recent paper in Science and Engineering Ethics from the Human Brain Project suggests that that ethical reflection on the practical aspects of artificial intelligence requires theoretical reflection and clarification of key concepts: What is intelligence? And how do we make the distincition between natural…