Once upon a time, neuroscience was born. A dazzling array of neurotechnologies emerged that, according to popular belief, have finally begun to unlock the secrets of the brain. But as the brain sciences now extend into all corners of cultural, social, political, and economic life, a yet newer world has taken shape: “neuroculture,” which goes further than ever before to tackle the profound ethical implications we face in consequence.
The Assemblage Brain unveils a major new concept of sense making, one that challenges conventional scientific and philosophical understandings of the brain. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari, Tony D. Sampson calls for a radical critical theory that operates in the interferences between philosophy, science, art, and politics. From this novel perspective the book is structured around two questions: “What can be done to a brain?” and “What can a brain do?” Sampson examines the rise of neuroeconomics in informing significant developments in computer work, marketing, and the neuropharmaceutical control of inattentiveness in the classroom. Moving beyond the neurocapitalist framework, he then reestablishes a place for proto-subjectivity in which biological and cultural distinctions are reintegrated in an understanding of the brain as an assemblage.
The Assemblage Brain unravels the conventional image of thought that underpins many scientific and philosophical accounts of how sense is produced, providing a new view of our current time in which capitalism and the neurosciences endeavor to colonize the brain.
Brain Culture investigates the American obsession with the health of the brain. The brain has become more than a bodily organ, acquiring a near-mystical status. The message that this organ is the key to everything is everywhere--in self-help books that tell us to work on our brains to achieve happiness and enlightenment, in drug advertisements that promise a few tweaks to our brain chemistry will cure us of our discontents, and in politicians' speeches that tell us that our brains are national resources essential to our economic prosperity.
Davi Johnson Thornton looks at these familiar messages, tracing the ways that brain science and colorful brain images produced by novel scientific technologies are taken up and distributed in popular media. She tracks the impact of the message that, "you are your brain" across multiple contemporary contexts, analyzing its influence on child development, family life, education, and public policy. Brain Culture shows that our fixation on the brain is not simply a reaction to scientific progress, but a cultural phenomenon deeply tied to social and political values of individualism and limitless achievement.
Neural grafting, virtual reality, gene therapy, psychotropic drugs … As startling new treatments emerge for disorders of the brain, new concerns are arising along with them. In the first book to examine the implications of the full range of revolutionary interventions now possible in the human brain, Robert H. Blank warns that while these new techniques may promise medical wonders, they also raise profound political questions.
Our rapidly unfolding knowledge about the brain and the accompanying applications have three main policy dimensions: funding research initiatives, controlling individual use, and assessing social consequences. But underlying these aspects, Blank argues, are more disturbing issues that pose fundamental challenges to our conceptions of equality, autonomy, freedom, responsibility, and human nature itself.
Brain Policy makes the key facts from the technical literature readily accessible to social scientists and general readers and points out the implications for our society. Blank first explains the structure and function of the nervous system and current theories of brain operation; he then assesses the uses and potential abuses of various intervention techniques. He identifies the public policy issues raised by discoveries in the neurosciences and calls for intensified scrutiny of the advantages and disadvantages of new technologies.
Warning that the risks and dangers of the dramatic developments in neuroscience are potentially large, Blank offers a means of understanding these scientific advances and the philosophical and political issues they entail. This book will be of interest to social scientists, policy analysts, policy makers, bioethicists, scientists who want to see the bigger picture, and the informed reader with an interest in the implications of neuroscience for themselves and society.
In The Brain's Body Victoria Pitts-Taylor brings feminist and critical theory to bear on new development in neuroscience to demonstrate how power and inequality are materially and symbolically entangled with neurobiological bodies. Pitts-Taylor is interested in how the brain interacts with and is impacted by social structures, especially in regard to race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability, as well as how those social structures shape neuroscientific knowledge. Pointing out that some brain scientists have not fully abandoned reductionist or determinist explanations of neurobiology, Pitts-Taylor moves beyond debates over nature and nurture to address the politics of plastic, biosocial brains. She highlights the potential of research into poverty's effects on the brain to reinforce certain notions of poor subjects and to justify particular forms of governance, while her queer critique of kinship research demonstrates the limitations of hypotheses based on heteronormative assumptions. In her exploration of the embodied mind and the "embrained" body, Pitts-Taylor highlights the inextricability of nature and culture and shows why using feminist and queer thought is essential to understanding the biosociality of the brain.
New advances are being made in brain science today that will directly affect our lives, from the courtroom to the classroom to the living room. Cerebrum has long been the leading journal in distilling these developments in neuroscience for the general reader, and its articles by leading scientists and scholars are cited in such prominent publications as the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Washington Post. Now collected here is the second anthology of articles from Cerebrum’s Web edition about the latest developments in brain science.
The featured articles offer thought-provoking analyses of the human brain and its untapped possibilities, touching on topics as diverse as how discoveries in brain science can help us design better the best nursing facilities for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the risks and rewards of new drugs based on living cells, why remembering our past is essential to planning the future, and when we can and should use drugs to control our emotional lives. Top scientists and scholars—including acclaimed science writer Carl Zimmer, psychiatrist Paul M. McHugh, neurologist Michael Selzer, and neurobiologist Vivan Teichberg—clearly and concisely explain these and many other exciting developments on the horizon.
An engaging and wholly readable compendium, Cerebrum 2008 is essential for all those interested in the cutting edge of brain research and what it holds for the future of humanity.
“A real intellectual treat...research findings seen not just in their raw state of discovery but in the far-reaching long term implications they have for health, society, and the future of creativity and innovation.”
—Floyd E. Bloom, MD, former editor of Science
Cerebrum 2010 offers a feast for readers keen to know what the world’s leading thinkers see as the newest ideas and implications arising from discoveries about the brain. Drawn from Cerebrum’s highly regarded Web edition, this fourth annual collection brings together the foremost experts in brain science. Jay Giedd, Michael Posner, Mariale Hardiman, David Kupfer and Paul McHugh present their research—and their take—on such cutting-edge topics as the development of the teen brain, how arts education affects intelligence, the limitations of brain imaging, and how to bring more certainty and flexibility to diagnosis in the next edition of the psychiatric bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual ofMental Disorders (DSM-V).
Benjamin S. Carson Sr., director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and a professor of neurological surgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, provides an insightful perspective on the impact of neuroscience on his career, the well-being of patients, and the understanding of how the mind works. Cerebrum 2010 presents candid, intriguing debates that capture the harmony as well as the discord in the complex and evolving relationship between neuroscience and society.
Where is the line between instinct and free will in humans? How far can technology and medicine go to manipulate the brain? With every new discovery about the human mind, more and more questions emerge about the boundaries of consciousness, responsibility, and how far neuroscience research can go. The fledgling field of neuroethics has sought answers to these questions since the first formal neuroethics conference was held in 2002. This groundbreaking volume collects the expert and authoritative writings published since then that have laid the groundwork for this rapidly expanding debate.
Defining Right and Wrong in Brain Science traverses the breadth of neuroethics, exploring six broad areas—including free will, moral responsibility, and legal responsibility; psychopharmacology; and brain injury and brain death—in thirty provocative articles. The scientific and ethical consequences of neuroscience research and technology are plumbed by leading thinkers and scientists, from Antonio Damasio’s “The Neural Basics of Social Behavior: Ethical Implications” to “Monitoring and Manipulating Brain Function” by Martha J. Farah and Paul Root Wolpe. These and other in-depth chapters articulate the thought-provoking questions that emerge with every new scientific discovery and propose solutions that mediate between the freedom of scientific endeavor and the boundaries of ethical responsibility.
As science races toward a future that is marked by startling new possibilities for our bodies and minds, Defining Right and Wrong in Brain Science is the definitive assessment of the ethical criteria guiding neuroscientists today.
Advances in neuroscience research are rapidly bringing new and complex issues to the forefront of medical and social ethics, and scholars from diverse fields have been coming together to debate the issues at stake. Acclaimed science writer Sandra Ackerman witnessed one such gathering, and here she skillfully synthesizes those proceedings into a concise presentation of the challenges that neuroscience and neuroethics currently face.
Top scholars and scientists in neuroscience and ethics convened at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in May 2005. They included Michael Gazzaniga, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth College; Marcus Raichle of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; Harvard University provost Steven Hyman; Judy Illes, cofounder of the Stanford Brain Research Center; University of Virginia bioethicist Jonathan Moreno; Stacey Tovino of the Health Law and Policy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center; and Stanford law professor Hank Greely.
Ackerman weaves the invigorating arguments and discussions among these and other prominent scholars into a seamless and dynamic narrative. She reveals the wide array of issues that have emerged from recent research, including brain imaging, free will and personal responsibility, disease diagnosis and prediction, brain enhancement, and the potential social, political, and legal ramifications of new discoveries. Translating these complex arguments into an engrossing account of neuroethics, she offers a rare view of science—and ethics—in the making.
Psychoanalysis and neurological medicine have promoted contrasting and seemingly irreconcilable notions of the modern self. Since Freud, psychoanalysts have relied on the spoken word in a therapeutic practice that has revolutionized our understanding of the mind. Neurologists and neurosurgeons, meanwhile, have used material apparatus—the scalpel, the electrode—to probe the workings of the nervous system, and in so doing have radically reshaped our understanding of the brain. Both operate in vastly different institutional and cultural contexts.
Given these differences, it is remarkable that both fields found resources for their development in the same tradition of late nineteenth-century German medicine: neuropsychiatry. In Localization and Its Discontents, Katja Guenther investigates the significance of this common history, drawing on extensive archival research in seven countries, institutional analysis, and close examination of the practical conditions of scientific and clinical work. Her remarkable accomplishment not only reframes the history of psychoanalysis and the neuro disciplines, but also offers us new ways of thinking about their future.
Law relies on a conception of human agency, the idea that humans are capable of making their own choices and are morally responsible for the consequences. But what if that is not the case? Over the past half century, the story of the law has been one of increased acuity concerning the human condition, especially the workings of the brain. The law already considers select cognitive realities in evaluating questions of agency and responsibility, such as age, sanity, and emotional distress. As new neuroscientific research comprehensively calls into question the very idea of free will, how should the law respond to this revised understanding?
Peter A. Alces considers where and how the law currently fails to appreciate the neuroscientific revelation that humans may in key ways lack normative free will—and therefore moral responsibility. The most accessible setting in which to consider the potential impact of neuroscience is criminal law, as certain aspects of criminal law already reveal the naiveté of most normative reasoning, such as the inconsistent treatment of people with equally disadvantageous cognitive deficits, whether congenital or acquired. But tort and contract law also assume a flawed conception of human agency and responsibility. Alces reveals the internal contradictions of extant legal doctrine and concludes by considering what would be involved in constructing novel legal regimes based on emerging neuroscientific insights.
“Artificial intelligence has always inspired outlandish visions—that AI is going to destroy us, save us, or at the very least radically transform us. Erik Larson exposes the vast gap between the actual science underlying AI and the dramatic claims being made for it. This is a timely, important, and even essential book.”
—John Horgan, author of The End of Science
Many futurists insist that AI will soon achieve human levels of intelligence. From there, it will quickly eclipse the most gifted human mind. The Myth of Artificial Intelligence argues that such claims are just that: myths. We are not on the path to developing truly intelligent machines. We don’t even know where that path might be.
Erik Larson charts a journey through the landscape of AI, from Alan Turing’s early work to today’s dominant models of machine learning. Since the beginning, AI researchers and enthusiasts have equated the reasoning approaches of AI with those of human intelligence. But this is a profound mistake. Even cutting-edge AI looks nothing like human intelligence. Modern AI is based on inductive reasoning: computers make statistical correlations to determine which answer is likely to be right, allowing software to, say, detect a particular face in an image. But human reasoning is entirely different. Humans do not correlate data sets; we make conjectures sensitive to context—the best guess, given our observations and what we already know about the world. We haven’t a clue how to program this kind of reasoning, known as abduction. Yet it is the heart of common sense.
Larson argues that all this AI hype is bad science and bad for science. A culture of invention thrives on exploring unknowns, not overselling existing methods. Inductive AI will continue to improve at narrow tasks, but if we are to make real progress, we must abandon futuristic talk and learn to better appreciate the only true intelligence we know—our own.
John Modern offers a powerful and original critique of neurology’s pivotal role in religious history.
In Neuromatic, religious studies scholar John Lardas Modern offers a sprawling and critical examination of the history of the cognitive revolution and current attempts to locate all that is human in the brain, including spirituality itself. Neuromatic is a wildly original take on the entangled histories of science and religion that lie behind our brain-laden present: from eighteenth-century revivals to the origins of neurology and mystic visions of mental piety in the nineteenth century; from cyberneticians, Scientologists, and parapsychologists in the twentieth century, to contemporary claims to have discovered the neural correlates of religion.
What Modern reveals via this grand tour is that our ostensibly secular turn to the brain is bound up at every turn with the religion it discounts, ignores, or actively dismisses. In foregrounding the myths, ritual schemes, and cosmic concerns that have accompanied idealizations of neural networks and inquiries into their structure, Neuromatic takes the reader on a dazzling and disturbing ride through the history of our strange subservience to the brain.
Neuroscience and the Law
Edited by Brent Garland Dana Press, 2004 Library of Congress KF2910.N45N48 2004 | Dewey Decimal 153
How can discoveries in neuroscience influence America’s criminal justice system? Neuroscience and the Law examines the growing involvement of neuroscience in legal proceedings and considers how scientific advances challenge our existing concepts of justice. Based on an invitational meeting convened by the Dana Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the book opens with the deliberations of the twenty-six scientists and legal scholars who attended the conference and concludes with the commissioned papers of four distinguished scholars in law and brain research.
Michael S. Gazzaniga
Henry T. Greeley
Neuroscience, Psychology, and Religion is the second title published in the new Templeton Science and Religion Series. In this volume, Malcolm Jeeves and Warren S. Brown provide an overview of the relationship between neuroscience, psychology, and religion that is academically sophisticated, yet accessible to the general reader.
The authors introduce key terms; thoroughly chart the histories of both neuroscience and psychology, with a particular focus on how these disciplines have interfaced religion through the ages; and explore contemporary approaches to both fields, reviewing how current science/religion controversies are playing out today. Throughout, they cover issues like consciousness, morality, concepts of the soul, and theories of mind. Their examination of topics like brain imaging research, evolutionary psychology, and primate studies show how recent advances in these areas can blend harmoniously with religious belief, since they offer much to our understanding of humanity's place in the world. Jeeves and Brown conclude their comprehensive and inclusive survey by providing an interdisciplinary model for shaping the ongoing dialogue.
Sure to be of interest to both academics and curious intellectuals, Neuroscience, Psychology, and Religion addresses important age-old questions and demonstrates how modern scientific techniques can provide a much more nuanced range of potential answers to those questions.
How can scientific theories contribute to contemporary accounts of embodiment in the humanities and social sciences? In particular, how does neuroscientific research facilitate new approaches to theories of mind and body? Feminists have frequently criticized the neurosciences for biological reductionism, yet, Elizabeth A. Wilson argues, neurological theories—especially certain accounts of depression, sexuality, and emotion—are useful to feminist theories of the body. Rather than pointing toward the conventionalizing tendencies of the neurosciences, Wilson emphasizes their capacity for reinvention and transformation. Focusing on the details of neuronal connections, subcortical pathways, and reflex actions, she suggests that the central and peripheral nervous systems are powerfully allied with sexuality, the affects, emotional states, cognitive appetites, and other organs and bodies in ways not fully appreciated in the feminist literature. Whether reflecting on Simon LeVay’s hypothesis about the brains of gay men, Peter Kramer’s model of depression, or Charles Darwin’s account of trembling and blushing, Wilson is able to show how the neurosciences can be used to reinvigorate feminist theories of the body.
Human beings evolved in the company of others. Mutually reinforcing connections between brains, minds, and societies have profound implications for physical and emotional health. Social Neuroscience offers a comprehensive new framework for studying human brain development and human behavior in their social context.
Theory and Method in the Neurosciences surveys the nature and structure of theories in contemporary neuroscience, exploring many of its methodological techniques and problems. The essays explore basic questions about how to relate theories of neuroscience and cognition, the multilevel character of such theories, and their experimental bases. Philosophers and scientists (and some who are both) examine the topics of explanation and mechanisms, simulation and computation, imaging and animal models that raise questions about the forefront of research in cognitive neuroscience. Their work will stimulate new thinking in anyone interested in the mind or brain and in recent theories of their connections.
Developing a cybernetic model of subjectivity and personhood that honors disability experiences to reconceptualize the category of the human
Twentieth-century neuroscience fixed the brain as the basis of consciousness, the self, identity, individuality, even life itself, obscuring the fundamental relationships between bodies and the worlds that they inhabit. In Unraveling, Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer draws on narratives of family and individual experiences with neurological disorders, paired with texts by neuroscientists and psychiatrists, to decenter the brain and expose the ableist biases in the dominant thinking about personhood.
Unraveling articulates a novel cybernetic theory of subjectivity in which the nervous system is connected to the world it inhabits rather than being walled off inside the body, moving beyond neuroscientific, symbolic, and materialist approaches to the self to focus instead on such concepts as animation, modularity, and facilitation. It does so through close readings of memoirs by individuals who lost their hearing or developed trauma-induced aphasia, as well as family members of people diagnosed as autistic—texts that rethink modes of subjectivity through experiences with communication, caregiving, and the demands of everyday life.
Arguing for a radical antinormative bioethics, Unraveling shifts the discourse on neurological disorders from such value-laden concepts as “quality of life” to develop an inclusive model of personhood that honors disability experiences and reconceptualizes the category of the human in all of its social, technological, and environmental contexts.
What are people who read opinion-page articles looking for? How can you reach people who read general-interest magazines? Hint: It's not the same as your colleagues or science journals.
This compact book offers the reasons and information that can help scientific writers adopt new habits to be successful and happy writing for a non-science audience. Go ahead and write journal-style for science journals and colleagues, says longtime science editor Jane Nevins, but you'll need to try different styles to reach a different audience.
The book is divided into three parts: The Meet-up, Simple Fixes, and Science and Style. In The Meet-up, Nevins describes the different venues for lay writing, from opinion pages to popular magazines, and what readers of each expect and respond to best. In Simple Fixes, she shows how jargon, "cross-over words," and hackneyed expressions can be remedied, clearing away confusion for your readers. In Science and Style, she discusses what to put first, how to quote and paraphrase in lay copy, and what to leave out.
Throughout You've Got Some Explaining to Do, Nevins gives concrete, specific examples tied to neuroscience. The author, who served as the first editor in chief of the Dana Press, brings more than 20 years of experience in translating neuroscience to lay readers.
"No one is better at helping one learn to write for the non-professional public, as I can personally testify, than Jane Nevins."-Nobel laureate Eric R. Kandel, M.D., Director, Kavli Institute for Brain Science, Columbia University College of Physicians and Scientists.