You, your brain and neuro-ethics
Neuro-prevention of youth crime? A critical analysis
The recent NeurolabNL initiative, focuses on brain development of juveniles with antisocial behaviour, as compared to the healthy brain development of typical juveniles. The aim is to improve prevention and intervention and to better tailor it to the neurobiological profile as well as the psycho-social environment of juveniles concerned. My talk will provide a critical appraisal of this development. I will point towards possible new opportunities, but particularly also discuss a range of potentially upcoming pitfalls and drawbacks. Interviews I held over the years, with juvenile delinquents and with parents are very informative and I’ll integrate their views and experiences into my ethical analysis of neuro-prevention of youth crime.
Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences Maastricht University
What should we do with our brains?
Popular science books about our plastic brains fill the bookstore. They offer us a wealth of useful knowledge, from insights into the adolescent brain for parents, to suggestions for keeping the aging brain healthy. Such books promise us that by changing our brains, we can achieve happiness, health, or success more easily and with longer-lasting results. Based on his PhD-research on popular neuroscience literature, philosopher Ties van de Werff questions whether such ‘brain-inspired good life’ really challenges and revolutionises what we should do in order to live well. What do we gain or lose, when we use scientific knowledge as an answer for dealing with the challenges of our everyday lives?
Ties van de Werff
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Maastricht University
Neuroscience research aiming to understand changes that occur in the human brain due to several brain disorders, has taken steps into Frankenstein-land. Nowadays, neuroscientists are growing brains in a dish to understand the abnormalities that accompany several brain disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, and Alzheimer’s. With such an emerging technology, we are moving one step closer to better treatment and prevention strategies. But a brain-in-a-dish: Really? Whose brain are they growing? Can these brains think and feel? Katherine will discuss the ethical and societal implications of this technology, will attempt to answer some of those questions and leave room for the audience to share their concerns.