Predicitive Neurotechology, Professor James Giordano, RockvilleScience   7 years ago


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Neuroscience and neurotechnology (so-called "neuroS&T") are being increasingly viewed as having potential value to define predispositions to types of behavior, and thus may have some predictive value, and could be employed to allow preemptive interventions to deter the commission of crimes. For sure, this has "Minority Report" overtones, but as distasteful as this seems at face value, the recent shootings in Oslo, Phoenix, and Columbine, and instances of international terrorism have prompted calls to use the science and technologies we have at hand to "do something" to ensure that such events do not happen again.

Scrutiny is needed when looking to, and relying upon neuroS&T for determination of legal judgments -- especially regarding culpability. Extant criteria (e.g.-Frye and Daubert standards as used in the USA) are changeable and can reflect (and are often contributory to) the current scientific, social and economic "climate" in which various techniques and technologies are regarded, embraced and utilized.

Perhaps neuroS&T will be used to define and predict thought and behaviors. But the question is how do we maximize the benefit of the tools we possess, while not over-stepping the boundaries of science or corrupting ethico-legal probity?  As well, just because we may not possess the neurotechnological capabilities to predict cognitions or behaviors doesn't mean we're not on the road, and so it's important to understand exactly "where we really are" and estimate the validity and value of both our current position and the destinations we seek. We must be aware of agendas to employ neuroscience in a variety of ways, and must be prepared to confront the realities. In this fascinating lecture, neuroscientist and neuroethicist Professor James Giordano PhD, addresses the capacities and limitations of neuroS&T, as well as analyses and guidelines to establish how to engage neuroS&T in ways that are scientifically and technically rigorous, and ethically and legally sound.