Neuroscience and ethics

The seven major global initiatives for the study of the nervous system - Australian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, European, Canadian and American - in the field of neuroethics are in dialogue with Humanities to anticipate the major challenges that may lie ahead: will our conception of human beings change when they merge with artificial intelligence devices? How will the privacy of the users of these devices be guaranteed? Could this possible future be reduced to an economic elite?

When trying to answer these questions, the idea of the human person is fundamental, considering at least its biological, subjective and social dimensions. Current neuroscience, however, tends to start from neuroessentialist and brain-centric assumptions, reducing the person to his or her brain, and thus eliminating the latter two dimensions.

In fact, it is common to assume the computational paradigm, and to understand the brain as a computer. A review of the recent history of neuroscience shows that this paradigm is exhausted, and that other proposals are needed to make us understand what the brain is, and not simply how it works.

The Mind-brain Group, through a prior interdisciplinary dialogue, aims to find novel proposals about the role of the brain in the whole person, and how ethical problems arising from the development of neurotechnologies can be tackled.