"NIH is leading the way for proactively considering and addressing potential ethical considerations as the BRAIN Initiative leads to novel ways of measuring and influencing the activity of the brain," said Walter Koroshetz, M.D., director of the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). "Having discussions in real time is of paramount importance as clinical researchers investigate the use of such tools to reduce the burden of brain disease."
Considerable attention has been given recently to neural devices, which can be used to record or alter brain activity. In some cases, they are implanted within the brain for the purpose of stimulating or inhibiting specific regions to treat a disorder. Recent high profile investments in neural device companies have increased public attention to an already promising field of study. However, it is crucial that doctors and industry emphasize protection of research participants as they conduct trials to test and optimize these devices.
Neuroscience - Researchers - Clinicians - Ethicists - NIH
By bringing together neuroscience researchers, clinicians, and ethicists, the NIH is supporting an effort to address the ethical challenges associated with clinical research advances. Shortly after the launch of the BRAIN Initiative in 2013, the NIH BRAIN Initiative's Neuroethics Working Group was formed as a working group of the NINDS Advisory Council to recommend approaches for identifying and addressing ethical questions raised by the development and use of the resulting tools and technologies.
"Cutting-edge science requires cutting-edge ethics." said Khara Ramos, Ph.D., Director of Neuroethics at NINDS and co-author of the paper. "The BRAIN Initiative is moving the field of neuroscience forward at a rapid pace, and we are fortunate to collaborate with experts from diverse backgrounds to help us evaluate and anticipate the ethical implications of that research."
Paper - Authors - Areas - Challenges - Devices
In their paper, the authors discuss three main areas of ethical challenges related to neural devices....
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