Listen: Considering Consciousness in Neuroscience Research

No Easy Answers in Bioethics logoNo Easy Answers in Bioethics Episode 19

What can neuroscience tell us about human consciousness, the developing brains of babies, or lab-grown brain-like tissue? How do we define “consciousness” when it is a complex, much-debated topic? In this episode, Michigan State University researchers Dr. Laura Cabrera, Assistant Professor in the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, and Dr. Mark Reimers, Associate Professor in the Neuroscience Program, discuss the many layers of consciousness. Examining recent research on lab-grown brain organoids, they discuss moral and ethical considerations of such research, including how future technologies could challenge our definitions of consciousness and moral agency. They distinguish consciousness from intelligence, also discussing artificial intelligence.

Ways to Listen

This episode was produced and edited by Liz McDaniel in the Center for Ethics. Music: “While We Walk (2004)” by Antony Raijekov via Free Music Archive, licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. Full episode transcript available.

About: No Easy Answers in Bioethics is a podcast series from the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences in the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Each month Center for Ethics faculty and their collaborators discuss their ongoing work and research across many areas of bioethics. Episodes are hosted by H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online.

Inductive Risks, Inferences, and the Role of Values in Disorders of Consciousness

cabrera-crop-2015Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Cabrera has a new article in the current issue of AJOB Neuroscience (Volume 7, Issue 1). Dr. Cabrera’s open peer commentary, “Inductive Risks, Inferences, and the Role of Values in Disorders of Consciousness,” is available online through Taylor & Francis.