Dr. Cabrera presents at 10th annual International Neuroethics Society Meeting

cabrera-crop-2015On November 10-11, 2016, Center Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Cabrera attended the International Neuroethics Society (INS) Annual Meeting held in San Diego, California. This year the INS meeting celebrated the 10th anniversary of the society, and it was a day and half of intense and engaging discussions of relevant neuroethics topics.

Dr. Cabrera presented a flash talk and a poster on “Neuroensanchamiento?: Perspectives and terms in the Latin American and Spanish Literature regarding neuroenhancement” (Colon-Ortiz and Cabrera), and also had another poster showcasing results from her S3 grant entitled “Psychiatric Deep Brain Stimulation: Recurrent and Neglected Ethical Issues” (Cabrera, Bluhm and McKenzie).

Image description: Dr. Laura Cabrera with her poster “Psychiatric Deep Brain Stimulation: Recurrent and Neglected Ethical Issues.” Photo courtesy of Laura Cabrera.

The first day of the meeting started with the INS presidential address, which emphasized the fact that the society was celebrating its 10th anniversary. As part of this celebration a new logo for the society was presented. The keynote of the first day was given by Steven E. Hyman on “Emerging Genetics of Human Cognition and Behavior: New Challenges for Ethics and Policy.” After his engaging talk, there was the international ambassador session and breakouts with representatives from China, Japan, Europe and the US discussing the state of neuroethics in the brain initiatives within their respective countries. The first day closed with the public program on “Meet Tomorrow’s World: A Meeting on the Ethics of Emerging Technologies.” Panelists at this event covered topics ranging from the neurobiology of storytelling, social robots, privacy, virtual reality, moral enhancement, and brain stimulation.

The second day of the INS meeting started with a keynote plenary by Walter J. Koroshetz on “Neuroethics and the BRAIN Initiative.” Dr. Koroshetz highlighted the importance of the BRAIN Initiative in the context of other big American projects and its focus on exciting new discoveries and new technologies to better understand the brain. The following session was on “Mind-Brain and the Competing Identities of Neuroethics” with Paul Appelbaum, Tom Buller, Jennifer Chandler and Ilina Singh as panelists. This session explored three main questions: (1) is it important to discuss questions related to the status and identity/ies of neuroethics?, (2) are there avoidable pitfalls created by the multiple identities of neuroethics and can they be avoided?, and (3) what could INS do to help answer some of the issues discussed at the meeting?

Just before lunch there was the flash talk presentations, where nine selected top abstracts were given three minutes each to present. Dr. Cabrera presented, on behalf of her graduate student Celizbets Colon-Ortiz, the work they have been carrying out on cross-cultural neuroethics.