Neuroethics and Society

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

At the end of this course the student is better able

in terms of knowledge.....:
- to identify and address a number of ethical issues at the interface
between neuroscience and society (the topic list gives an impression of
which issues will be discussed).

in terms of skills...:...
- to address and discuss these issues in professional and public

in terms of attitude......:
- to appreciate the responsibilities of the neuroscientist as scientist
in communication with the general public

Inhoud vak

Neuroethics is the field in which the moral, jural, societal and
philosophical implications of brain research are investigated.
Neuroscience has an impact on how we think about ourselves (freedom,
rationality, autonomy). It affects practices like law and psychiatry. It
confronts us with moral concerns about certain applications: enhancement
of normal functioning, mind-reading and lie-detection, military
applications, far-reaching forms of health surveillance. On the other
hand, neuroscience is also used to claim dignity, equal treatment and
certain other rights for people who are ‘diverse’ in one or another way
(mild autism, ADHD, instable mood, for instance). Neuroscience affects
our view on human nature, in other words, this course investigates the
intricate ramifications in the interaction between neuroscience,
society, and our view on human nature.
Topics to be included are
a. Neuroethics introduction: impact of neuroscience on moral philosophy
b. Neurolaw: impact on the law and on legal practices
(i) Revision of law and legal practices (e.g., adolescent brain
(ii) Assessment of people (e.g., brain-based mind-reading/lie-detection)
(iii) Intervention (e.g., deep brain stimulation and the law)
c. Enhancement (enhancing brain/mind capacities using neuro-technology)
d. Neuroscience and the public image (with a contribution by Brein in
e. Big data and the brain; health surveillance
f. The future (neuro)society – where are we heading to? Opportunities,
challenges, risks; neurodiversity


- lectures
- study of literature
- assignments
- group discussion (including Lagerhyuys debate)


- Assignments + other contributions in class (40%)
- Final presentation (3000 words) (60%)

The assignments and other contributions in the classroom are evaluated
on the basis of the following points:
- Overall quality of summaries (clarity, succinctness, focus)
- Relevance (questions, remarks)
- Presentation (skills, use of digital media, quality of discussion)

The final presentation is assessed on the basis of the following points:
- Clarity of research question/topic
- Clear description of the way the question/topic is methodically
- Relevant, succinct and focused summary of findings and arguments in
the literature
- Quality of the argumentation
- Is the conclusion based on the preceding findings and reasonings?

Vereiste voorkennis

Meeting of general admission criteria for the program as a whole; no
additional requirements.


To be announced on Canvas


Research master neuroscience students and those with equal

Algemene informatie

Vakcode W_MA_NSNS
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P4
Vakniveau 500
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Vakcoördinator prof. dr. G. Glas
Examinator prof. dr. G. Glas
Docenten prof. dr. G. Glas

Praktische informatie

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