Last month Center Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Cabrera presented at the International Neuroethics Society (INS) Annual Meeting in Chicago. The meeting theme, “Mapping Neuroethics: An Expanded Vision” resulted in a gathering of a truly diverse group of scholars, scientists, clinicians, and professionals dedicated to the responsible use of advances in brain science.
Dr. Cabrera participated in the panel “Incapable Patients and Psychiatric Neurosurgery: What do Law and Ethics Have to Say?”, discussing the regulatory and ethical landscape around psychiatric neurosurgery. Additionally, Dr. Cabrera had two posters discussing results from her NEURON collaboration with Dr. Judy Illes (University of British Columbia), and two posters discussing results from her NIH BRAIN Initiative grant on psychiatric electroceutical interventions. Undergraduate research assistants Emily Castillo and Marissa Cortright were there to present the posters discussing results from the developmental stage of the ongoing NIH BRAIN project. They are pictured below with the posters “Public Views About Treating Depression Across Four Treatment Modalities” and “Perceived Invasiveness of Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions as Treatment for Clinical Depression.”
The International Neuroethics Society (INS) Emerging Issues Task Force has a new article in AJOB Neuroscience on “Neuroethics at 15: The Current and Future Environment for Neuroethics.” Center Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Cabrera is a member of the task force, which advises INS by providing expertise, analysis, and guidance for a number of different audiences.
Abstract: Neuroethics research and scholarship intersect with dynamic academic disciplines in science, engineering, and the humanities. On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the formation of the International Neuroethics Society, we identify current and future topics for neuroethics and discuss the many social and political challenges that emerge from the converging dynamics of neurotechnologies and artificial intelligence. We also highlight the need for a global, transdisciplinary, and integrated community of researchers to address the challenges that are precipitated by this rapid sociotechnological transformation.
The full text is available online via Taylor & Francis Online (MSU Library or other institutional access may be required to view this article).
Center Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Cabrera is one of the two International Neuroethics Society representatives who are a part of the IEEE BRAIN group. The IEEE Brain group is part of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology.
On August 31st, Dr. Cabrera joined the IEEE BRAIN Neuroethics subcommittee kick-off meeting at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. This subcommittee includes philosophers, engineers, and neuroethicists, and it is tasked with putting together a document looking at ethical considerations for neurotechnologies.
This year the INS meeting theme was “Honoring our History, Forging our Future,” bringing together a diverse group of scholars, scientists, clinicians, and professionals dedicated to the responsible use of advances in brain science. The intellectually stimulating and dynamic conference payed homage to the first fifteen years of neuroethics. Dr. Cabrera presented two posters. The first, “Ethical issues and somatic psychiatric treatments: professionals vs. public concerns,” discussed results from her past S3 grant with colleague Dr. Robyn Bluhm. Her second poster, “Is low data reporting prevalent in clinical trials of psychiatric deep brain stimulation?” was co-authored with Julia Porter, an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Cabrera’s lab.
Dr. Cabrera also participated in a panel lead by Karen Herrera-Ferrá on the “Inclusion of Latin America within the globalization of neuroethics,” as part of the Neuroethics Program Leaders Council meeting which took place on November 11th.
Society for Neuroscience
Dr. Cabrera was one of the faculty organizing a short course on “Neuroethics and Public Engagement: Why, How, and Best Practices” as part of the pre-conference events. This was a very well-attended course with great participant engagement.
Dr. Cabrera also chaired, together with Edith Brignoni-Perez, the Neuroethics Social on November 13th. The event used films to discuss ethical issues in the portrayals of learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders.
On 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).
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.