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Finding Consciousness

Author: Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190280328
Size: 59.92 MB
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Modern medicine enables us to keep many people alive after they have suffered severe brain damage and show no reliable outward signs of consciousness. Many such patients are misdiagnosed as being in a permanent vegetative state when they are actually in a minimally conscious state. This mistake has far-reaching implications for treatment and prognosis. To alleviate this problem, neuroscientists have recently developed new brain-scanning methods to detect consciousness in some of these patients and even to ask them questions, including "Do you want to stay alive?" Finding Consciousness: The Neuroscience, Ethics, and Law of Severe Brain Damage addresses many questions regarding these recent neuroscientific methods: Is what these methods detect really consciousness? Do patients feel pain? Should we decide whether or not to let them die or are they competent to decide for themselves? And which kinds of treatment should governments and hospitals make available? This edited volume provides contextual information, surveys the issues and positions, and takes controversial stands from a wide variety of prominent contributors in fields ranging from neuroscience and neurology to law and policy to philosophy and ethics. Finding Consciousness should interest not only neuroscientists, clinicians, and ethicists but anyone who might suffer brain damage, which includes us all.

The Neuroethics Of Biomarkers

Author: Matthew L. Baum
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190236272
Size: 71.20 MB
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Neuroscientists are mining nucleic acids, blood, saliva, and brain images in hopes of uncovering biomarkers that could help estimate risk of brain disorders like psychosis and dementia; though the science of bioprediction is young, its prospects are unearthing controversy about how bioprediction should enter hospitals, courtrooms, or state houses. While medicine, law, and policy have established protocols for how presence of disorders should change what we owe each other or who we blame, they have no stock answers for the probabilities that bioprediction offers. The Neuroethics of Biomarkers observes, however, that for many disorders, what we really care about is not their presence per se, but certain risks that they carry. The current reliance of moral and legal structures on a categorical concept of disorder (sick verses well), therefore, obscures difficult questions about what types and magnitudes of probabilities matter. Baum argues that progress in the neuroethics of biomarkers requires the rejection of the binary concept of disorder in favor of a probabilistic one based on biological variation with risk of harm, which Baum names a "Probability Dysfunction." This risk-reorientation clarifies practical ethical issues surrounding the definition of mental disorder in the DSM-5 and the nosology of conditions defined by risk of psychosis and dementia. Baum also challenges the principle that the acceptability of bioprediction should depend primarily on whether it is medically useful by arguing that biomarkers can also be morally useful through enabling moral agency, better assessment of legal responsibility, and fairer distributive justice. The Neuroethics of Biomarkers should be of interest to those within neuroethics, medical ethics, and the philosophy of psychiatry.

Neuroethics In Practice

Author: Anjan Chatterjee
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195389786
Size: 58.88 MB
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This book explores relevant questions within this multi-faceted and rapidly growing field, and will help to define and foster scholarship within the intersection of neuroethics and clinical neuroscience.

Neuroethics

Author: Judy Illes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198786832
Size: 54.76 MB
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Over the last decade, there have been unparalleled advances in our understanding of brain sciences. But with the development of tools that can manipulate brain function, there are pressing ethical implications to this newfound knowledge of how the brain works. In Neuroethics: Anticipating theFuture, a distinguished group of contributors tackle current and critical ethical questions and offer forward-looking insights. What new balances should be struck between diagnosis and prediction, or invasive and non-invasive interventions, given the rapid advances in neuroscience? Are new criteria needed for the clinical definition of death for those eligible for organ donation? As data from emerging technologies are madeavailable on public databases, what frameworks will maximize benefits while ensuring privacy of health information? These challenging questions, along with numerous other neuroethical concerns, are discussed in depth. Written by eminent scholars from diverse disciplines including neurology and neuroscience, ethics and law, public health and philosophy, this new volume on neuroethics sets out the many necessary considerations for the future. It is essential reading for the field of neuroethics, neurosciences andpsychology, and an invaluable resource for physicians in neurological medicine, academics in humanities and law, and health policy makers.

Consciousness And Moral Responsibility

Author: Neil Levy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198704631
Size: 59.32 MB
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Neil Levy presents a new theory of freedom and responsibility. He defends a particular account of consciousness—the global workspace view—and argues that consciousness plays an especially important role in action. There are good reasons to think that the naïve assumption, that consciousness is needed for moral responsibility, is in fact true.

Music And Disorders Of Consciousness Emerging Research Practice And Theory

Author: Wendy L. Magee
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
ISBN: 2889450996
Size: 51.75 MB
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Music processing in severely brain-injured patients with disorders of consciousness has been an emergent field of interest for over 30 years, spanning the disciplines of neuroscience, medicine, the arts and humanities. Disorders of consciousness (DOC) is an umbrella term that encompasses patients who present with disorders across a continuum of consciousness including people who are in a coma, in vegetative state (VS)/have unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS), and in minimally conscious state (MCS). Technological developments in recent years, resulting in improvements in medical care and technologies, have increased DOC population numbers, the means for investigating DOC, and the range of clinical and therapeutic interventions under validation. In neuroimaging and behavioural studies, the auditory modality has been shown to be the most sensitive in diagnosing awareness in this complex population. As misdiagnosis remains a major problem in DOC, exploring auditory responsiveness and processing in DOC is, therefore, of central importance to improve therapeutic interventions and medical technologies in DOC. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role of music as a potential treatment and medium for diagnosis with patients with DOC, from the perspectives of research, clinical practice and theory. As there are almost no treatment options, such a non-invasive method could constitute a promising strategy to stimulate brain plasticity and to improve consciousness recovery. It is therefore an ideal time to draw together specialists from diverse disciplines and interests to share the latest methods, opinions, and research on this topic in order to identify research priorities and progress inquiry in a coordinated way. This Research Topic aimed to bring together specialists from diverse disciplines involved in using and researching music with DOC populations or who have an interest in theoretical development on this topic. Specialists from the following disciplines participated in this special issue: neuroscience; medicine; music therapy; clinical psychology; neuromusicology; and cognitive neuroscience.

Oxford Handbook Of Neuroethics

Author: Judy Illes
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191620912
Size: 23.24 MB
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The past two decades have seen unparalleled developments in our knowledge of the brain and mind. However, these advances have forced us to confront head-on some significant ethical issues regarding our application of this information in the real world- whether using brain images to establish guilt within a court of law, or developing drugs to enhance cognition. Historically, any consideration of the ethical, legal, and social implications of emerging technologies in science and medicine has lagged behind the discovery of the technology itself. These delays have caused problems in the acceptability and potential applications of biomedical advances and posed significant problems for the scientific community and the public alike - for example in the case of genetic screening and human cloning. The field of Neuroethics aims to proactively anticipate ethical, legal and social issues at the intersection of neuroscience and ethics, raising questions about what the brain tells us about ourselves, whether the information is what people want or ought to know, and how best to communicate it. A landmark in the academic literature, the Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics presents a pioneering review of a topic central to the sciences and humanities. It presents a range of chapters considering key issues, discussion, and debate at the intersection of brain and ethics. The handbook contains more than 50 chapters by leaders from around the world and a broad range of sectors of academia and clinical practice spanning the neurosciences, medical sciences and humanities and law. The book focuses on and provides a platform for dialogue of what neuroscience can do, what we might expect neuroscience will do, and what neuroscience ought to do. The major themes include: consciousness and intention; responsibility and determinism; mind and body; neurotechnology; ageing and dementia; law and public policy; and science, society and international perspectives. Tackling some of the most significant ethical issues that face us now and will continue to do so over the coming decades, The Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics will be an essential resource for the field of neuroethics for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, basic scientists in the neurosciences and psychology, scholars in humanities and law, as well as physicians practising in the areas of primary care in neurological medicine.

Mind Time

Author: Benjamin Libet
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674040168
Size: 69.99 MB
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Our subjective inner life is what really matters to us as human beings--and yet we know relatively little about how it arises. Over a long and distinguished career Benjamin Libet has conducted experiments that have helped us see, in clear and concrete ways, how the brain produces conscious awareness. For the first time, Libet gives his own account of these experiments and their importance for our understanding of consciousness. Most notably, Libet's experiments reveal a substantial delay--the mind time of the title--before any awareness affects how we view our mental activities. If all conscious awarenesses are preceded by unconscious processes, as Libet observes, we are forced to conclude that unconscious processes initiate our conscious experiences. Freely voluntary acts are found to be initiated unconsciously before an awareness of wanting to act--a discovery with profound ramifications for our understanding of free will. How do the physical activities of billions of cerebral nerve cells give rise to an integrated conscious subjective awareness? How can the subjective mind affect or control voluntary actions? Libet considers these questions, as well as the implications of his discoveries for the nature of the soul, the identity of the person, and the relation of the non-physical subjective mind to the physical brain that produces it. Rendered in clear, accessible language, Libet's experiments and theories will allow interested amateurs and experts alike to share the experience of the extraordinary discoveries made in the practical study of consciousness.

Morality Without God

Author: Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0195337638
Size: 24.66 MB
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A common refrain against atheism and secular humanism is that without belief in God, "everything is permitted." Walter Sinnott-Armstrong dismantles this argument and argues instead that God is not only not essential to morality, but that our moral behavior should be seen as utterly independent of religion. This short, accessible book is on a major aspect of the arguments against atheism and will interest those intrigued by the "new atheism" (Harris, Dawkins, etc).

Neurotechnology And Direct Brain Communication

Author: Michele Farisco
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317529588
Size: 12.32 MB
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Neurotechnology and Direct Brain Communication focuses on recent neuroscientific investigations of infant brains and of patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC), both of which are at the forefront of contemporary neuroscience. The prospective use of neurotechnology to access mental states in these subjects, including neuroimaging, brain simulation, and brain computer interfaces, offers new opportunities for clinicians and researchers, but has also received specific attention from philosophical, scientific, ethical, and legal points of view. This book offers the first systematic assessment of these issues, investigating the tools neurotechnology offers to care for verbally non-communicative subjects and suggesting a multidisciplinary approach to the ethical and legal implications of ordinary and experimental practices. The book is divided into three parts: the first and second focus on the scientific and clinical implications of neurological tools for DOC patient and infant care. With reference to these developments, the third and final part presents the case for re-evaluating classical ethical and legal concepts, such as authority, informed consent, and privacy. Neurotechnology and Direct Brain Communication will appeal to researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of cognitive science, medical ethics, medical technology, and the philosophy of the mind. With implications for patient care, it will also be a useful resource for clinicians, medical centres, and health practitioners.