International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting in Chicago, Oct. 17-18

Guest blog by Elaine Snell, Chief Operating Officer of INS

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Mapping Neuroethics: An Expanded Vision is the theme for this year’s Annual Meeting of the International Neuroethics Society (INS) in Chicago, October 17-18. What do we mean by “expanded vision?” The term implies bringing in people from different cultures who have either not been part of the neuroethics discussion so far, or have not been heard.

There’s the promise of what neuroscience can deliver not only to help people with neurological and psychiatric disorders, but also to better understand the( healthy brain. With this new knowledge comes big questions on how best to capture the benefits while minimizing the risk of misuse or inappropriate use. Those questions and solutions will vary from continent to continent.

The scientific program of the Annual Meeting is bold, with greater emphasis than ever before on inclusivity, diversity, and culture. There will be a series of panel discussions on the following topics, where opinions and expertise will be shared between the speakers and audience:

Ethics and the Imprisoned Brain

Techniques for altering inmates’ brains are being developed to rid prisons of what Anthony Burgess called ‘the ultra-violence’, creating an urgency for the criminal justice system to deal with the ethics of biological approaches and other neuro-interventions for incarcerated persons.

Preclinical Interventions in Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders

As we get better at using genetic, metabolic, or behavioral biomarkers to predict future susceptibility for neurological and psychiatric syndromes, the problem of medical management of people in such preclinical states becomes more trenchant.

Disorders of Consciousness: Concepts, Culture and Prognosis

The panel will explore the importance of culture, ethical implications, and how concepts can impact practice protocol and medical decision-making for people with disorders of consciousness.

Incapable Patients and Psychiatric Neurosurgery: What do Law and Ethics Have to Say?

Many laws define psychosurgery to include deep brain stimulation (DBS) for psychiatric conditions, a field under intensive exploration and expansion. How is neuromodulation such as DBS regulated?  Should there be a specific law?

Plenary lectures will be given by Matthew L. Baum, M.D.-Ph.D. student at Harvard Medical School, and Martha J. Farah, Annenberg Professor of Natural Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.

Attendees at the INS Annual Meeting will have the chance to find out more about the latest research in neuroethics through the posters being presented, particularly important for early career researchers. Prizes for the best posters will also be awarded. Select authors will give short talks about their areas of study, followed by questions and answers.

True to its name, the international nature of neuroethics is integral to the meeting, and a “Global Neuroethics” session will promote a productive dialogue on diverse ethical approaches to contemporary issues.

The INS Annual Meeting also opens its doors to the public for a session on Mental Health Digital Interventions. In this public event, we will examine how the history of healthcare intervention has always been based on human interaction; yet, now that so many people have smart phones, we are poised to deliver healthcare on a digital platform. We will ask how necessary are humans in diagnosing and treating mental illness?

The meeting will bring together scholars, scientists, clinicians, and professionals from all over the world, all stages of their career—be they students or leading experts—and from a range of disciplines: neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry and law, to name but a few.

Register for the INS Annual Meeting and participate in intellectually stimulating and dynamic sessions that will explore neuroethics.

There are so many reasons to attend, according to Roland Nadler from the University of British Columbia: “It’s the best opportunity to talk about the best work being done in this interdisciplinary field. You make connections with the people who are at the forefront of research, and with those coming up with new ideas. I see much room for neuroethics to grow.”

We look forward to meeting you in Chicago!

One response

  1. Hello – I am very interested in your organization and would love to be a part of it. I wrote to you recently about speaker opportunities on the topic of tooth loss and dementia research I have done. I put together a Ted style talk that was very popular at Psych Congress meeting in Boston recently! Would love to share my information. Is there a way to apply?

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