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Trends Neurosci. 2006 Sep;29(9):511-7. Epub 2006 Jul 21.

Neuroethics: a modern context for ethics in neuroscience.

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  • 1Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics and Department of Radiology, 701 Welch Road, A1115, Palo Alto, CA 94304-5748, USA.


Neuroethics, a recently modernized field at the intersection of bioethics and neuroscience, is founded on centuries of discussion of the ethical issues associated with mind and behavior. Broadly defined, neuroethics is concerned with ethical, legal and social policy implications of neuroscience, and with aspects of neuroscience research itself. Advances in neuroscience increasingly challenge long-held views of the self and the individual's relationship to society. Neuroscience also has led to innovations in clinical medicine that have not only therapeutic but also non-therapeutic dimensions that extend well beyond previously charted boundaries. The exponential increase in cross-disciplinary research, the commercialization of cognitive neuroscience, the impetus for training in ethics, and the increased attention being paid to public understanding of science all illuminate the important role of neuroethics in neuroscience.

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