Neuroethics

Grey Matters: Glimpsing the Grey Marble

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Quiet as an eyeblink clicked the camera shutter from the window of Apollo 17.  Astronauts Cernan, Evans, and Schmitt on December 7, 1972 captured the first clear and fully illuminated image of Earth ever taken from space.  This historic and widely circulated “Blue Marble” photograph of our fragile globe, depicted in vibrant blue, green and white and suspended in the vast blackness of silent space, has stirred the imagination of a generation. 

Podcast Episode: 
57

Una mirada a la Bolita Gris

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Silencioso como un parpadeo, el obturador de la cámara accionó desde la ventana del Apollo 17. Los astronautas Cernan, Evans y Schmitt capturaron el 7 de diciembre de 1972 la primera imagen clara y plenamente iluminada que se haya tomado jamás de la Tierra desde el espacio. Esta fotografía histórica y de amplia circulación, denominada "Blue Marble" (Bolita o Canica Azul) de nuestro frágil globo, representado en un azul, verde y blanco vibrantes y suspendido en la vasta negrura del espacio silencioso, ha estimulado la imaginación de una generación.

Podcast Episode: 
57

Materias grises: La iluminación del gris

Eric Kandel, investigador pionero de los mecanismos moleculares de la memoria, comentó una vez: "Somos quienes somos en gran medida por lo que hemos aprendido y lo que recordamos"[1] Si la materia gris forma la urdimbre y la trama de la biografía, la individualidad, la racionalidad y la capacidad creativa personal, ¿debemos concluir entonces que todo lo que podamos hacer para aumentar la función cognitiva nos convertiría en mejores personas?

Podcast Episode: 
46

Grey Matters: The Matter of Brightened Grey

Eric Kandel, pioneer investigator of the molecular mechanisms of memory, once commented, "We are who we are in good measure because of what we have learned and what we remember.1 If grey matter forms the warp and woof of personal biography, individuality, rationality and creative capacity, does it then follow that whatever we can do to augment cognitive function would make us better persons?

Podcast Episode: 
46

Grey Matters: When Eloquence is Inarticulate

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The French have an expression – je ne sais quois – which refers to an indescribable attractive quality. There is, for example, in addition to the goal of attaining procedural competence, a certain something that draws people to such fields as bioethics. Some of the reasons for one’s fascination with a discipline find expression in rational terms, while others may lie just beyond the grasp of explicit language. Like the mood evoked by a faintly familiar melody of forgotten origin is the je ne sais quoisunderlying the inexpressible feature of one’s personal aspirations.

Podcast Episode: 
37

Materias grises: Neurociencia, matiz y neuroética

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Una tarea primaria de la ética es reconocer distinciones válidas frente a la incertidumbre con relación a las obligaciones morales. Cuando lidiamos con las cuestiones más difíciles de la vida, los hechos a menudo son accesibles incompletamente o sus interpretaciones son ambiguas. Los enfoques teóricos disponibles a menudo arrojan soluciones contrapuestas. Cuando los confrontamos con los dilemas del cuidado de la salud, en particular, las personas difieren en cómo priorizan y aplican sus valores personales para llegar a decisiones que implican consecuencias trascendentes para la vida.

Podcast Episode: 
33

Grey Matters: Neuroscience, Nuance, AND Neuroethics

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A primary task of ethics is to recognize valid distinctions in the face of uncertainty concerning moral obligations. When wrestling with life’s toughest questions, facts are often incompletely accessible or their interpretations ambiguous. Available theoretical approaches often yield conflicting solutions. When confronted with healthcare dilemmas, in particular, people differ in how they prioritize and apply their personal values to reach decisions that entail life-altering consequences.

Podcast Episode: 
33

Neuroética: Informe de la Conferencia Nueva Frontera

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Podcast Episode: 
22

Neuroethics: The New Frontier Conference Report

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“Nothing is for sure,” said Raul Alvarez at the end of an interview on the opening night of the CBHD conference on neuroethics. He had been telling participants from all across the U.S. and half a dozen countries overseas about his younger brother, Mario. Mario has been severely neurologically disabled due to traumatic brain injuries sustained in a hit and run incident in March of the year 2000.

The story of his medical care, of the ethical issues faced, of the health provider who continues to sue the family over bills that should be paid by government sources, of the attorney who has provided free assistance, and of the extraordinary commitment of the family who are with Mario 24/7, brought tears to some eyes. Invited to share one final message, Raul reminded us all of the ever-present uncertainties in clinical practice—sometimes about diagnosis but always about prognosis. The family wanted to stress to professionals the importance of hope, and had certainly lived and worked by that principle themselves.

Podcast Episode: 
22

Brain Monitoring: An Ethical Assessment (Podcast)

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What if others could literally read your mind? That's a scary prospect! We are already under scrutiny by security, traffic, and face recognition cameras; airport scanners; and other gadgets that monitor our actions and person. In the future we will need to be concerned about increasingly sophisticated devices to monitor our brains. Developments in magnetic resonance imaging and neuroscience make possible detection of brain activity patterns with ever increasing detail.

Podcast Episode: 
15

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