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…

Arleen Salles

The value of neuroethics and philosophical reflection in the Human Brain Project

The Human Brain Project is committed to implementing responsibility in research and innovation practices. But implementing responsibility means more than setting standards or enforcing compliance. It also means changing mindsets and promoting an ethical culture: A culture where scientific excellence also includes ethical excellence. In the Human Brain Project, we are integrating neuroethics and philosophy…

child eye

Can you be cloned?

Why can we feel metaphysical nausea at the thought of cloned humans? I guess it has to do with how we, without giving ourselves sufficient time to reflect, are captivated by a simple image of individuality and cloning. The image then controls our thinking. We may imagine that cloning consists in multiplying our unique individuality in the…

neurons

Can AI be conscious? Let us think about the question

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has achieved remarkable results in recent decades, especially thanks to the refinement of an old and for a long time neglected technology called Deep Learning (DL), a class of machine learning algorithms. Some achievements of DL had a significant impact on public opinion thanks to important media coverage, like the cases of the…

child eye

Are you conscious? Looking for reliable indicators

How can we be sure that a person in front of us is conscious? This might seem like a näive question, but it actually resulted in one of the trickiest and most intriguing philosophical problems, classically known as “the other minds problem.” Yet this is more than just a philosophical game: reliable detection of conscious…

child eye

We shape the societies that shape us: our responsibility for human nature

Visionary academic texts are rare – texts that shed light on how research can contribute to the perennial human issues. In an article in the philosophical journal Theoria, however, Kathinka Evers opens up a novel visionary perspective on neuroscience and tragic aspects of the human condition. For millennia, sensitive thinkers have been concerned about human nature. Undoubtedly,…

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…

robot

What is required of an ethics of artificial intelligence?

I recently highlighted criticism of the ethics that often figures in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). An ethics that can handle the challenges that AI presents us with requires more than just beautifully formulated ethical principles, values ​​and guidelines. What exactly is required of an ethics of artificial intelligence? Michele Farisco, Kathinka Evers and Arleen Salles address the issue…