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Trends Cogn Sci. 2005 Jan;9(1):34-40.

Neuroethics: the practical and the philosophical.

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  • 1Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. <>


In comparison with the ethical issues surrounding molecular genetics, there has been little public awareness of the ethical implications of neuroscience. Yet recent progress in cognitive neuroscience raises a host of ethical issues of at least comparable importance. Some are of a practical nature, concerning the applications of neurotechnology and their likely implications for individuals and society. Others are more philosophical, concerning the way we think about ourselves as persons, moral agents and spiritual beings. This article reviews key examples of each type of issue, including the relevant advances in science and technology and their accompanying social and philosophical problems.

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