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Cosmetic Neurology: Brain-Boosting Drugs

Cosmetic Neurology: Brain-Boosting Drugs

What’s the next big frontier in pharmaceutical marketing? Blockbuster drugs seem harder to develop these days, and it’s getting more difficult to sell minor tweaks to old products as major breakthroughs. It’s even getting more challenging to talk to physicians, as many of the old ploys to get face time (expensive meals, honoraria, etc.) are [...]

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Better Giving Through Chemistry: Oxytocin Drives Generosity

Better Giving Through Chemistry: Oxytocin Drives Generosity

There’s more proof that the hormone oxytocin is an important factor in our social behavior. Previously, the brain chemical was shown to be associated with trust (see Building Trust: Chemical Neuromarketing). Now, researcher Paul Zak, a professor of economics and director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University in California, has shown [...]

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Legal Decision Making Center Funded

Legal Decision Making Center Funded

Decision making is emerging as a key area of neuroscience research. Neuroeconomics and neuromarketing are informed by brain scan data and other studies of how people make decisions, and now Vanderbilt University is the home for a major new study of how legal decisions are influenced by neurological processes. The first-of-its-kind project, which is a [...]

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Neuroethics vs. Neuromarketing

Neuroethics vs. Neuromarketing

There has been interest in neuroethics for years – the ethical dilemmas involved in everything from brain scans to cognitive enhancement drugs have been long apparent to neuroscientists. Recent research seems to have brought renewed attention the field, as reported in Reuters: Call for “neuroethics” as brain science races ahead. I suppose the mere fact [...]

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Neuromorality?

Neuromorality?

A church-based site, Vision.org, has published an interesting and thoughtful article by Thomas E. Fitzpatrick, Are We in Need of a Neuromorality? The article covers some of the same issues discussed in more detail in the book, Hard Science, Hard Choices by Sandra J. Ackerman, but is based largely on the comments of Martha J. [...]

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Book Review: Hard Science, Hard Choices

Book Review: Hard Science, Hard Choices

Meeting notes from a neuroethics conference hardly seem like fodder for book club meetings, but Hard Science, Hard Choices by Sandra J. Ackerman (Dana Press, 2006, 174 pages) is likely to produce far more spirited discussion than the latest Oprah selection. Ackerman has rendered a readable summary of the discussion at an unusual meeting of [...]

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“Neuroplanning” and Neuromarketing in the Czech Republic

“Neuroplanning” and Neuromarketing in the Czech Republic

The Prague Post, a popular English-language weekly in the Czech Republic, ran both an article, Picking Your Brain, and an opinion piece, On the brains (and ethics) of neuroplanning, on the topic of neuromarketing. The former covers the launch of a neuroscience-based media planning effort being launched by European media planning firm PHD Network. With [...]

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Neuro-Optimized Products – Good or Evil?

Neuro-Optimized Products – Good or Evil?

Every little while, a neuroalarmist rant pops up in the blogosphere, almost always from someone who read an article about neuromarketing and concludes, “My goodness – now they’ll manipulate my brain into buying all kinds of stuff I don’t want or need!” (Latest example: Neuromarketing – a Growing Menace.) While one might argue that marketers [...]

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Brain “Steroids” – Cognitive Enhancement Drugs

Brain “Steroids” – Cognitive Enhancement Drugs

Students popping “smart” pills before exams? It’s happening with increasing frequency on both sides of the Atlantic, according to Students turn to smart drugs for exam help in The Scotsman. Students are increasingly using nootropic drugs, which include Ritalin, often prescribed for ADHD, and Donepezil, an Alzheimer’s aid. A number of clinical studies have shown [...]

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Why Neuro-Alarmists Have It Wrong

Why Neuro-Alarmists Have It Wrong

A week doesn’t go by with some blogger reading about neuromarketing, fMRI ad studies, and the like, and then posting, “This is creepy – very Orwellian! Pretty soon we’ll all be buying stuff we didn’t want or need!” While neuroscience DOES have a variety of ethical issues that will be increasingly important, techniques like advertising [...]

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