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Researchers propose four “neurorights” to harness neurotechnology for good: cognitive liberty, mental privacy, mental integrity, and psychological continuity

A new cat­e­go­ry of human rights: neu­ror­ights (Bio­Med Cen­tral):

Neu­ro­science pro­vides us with an insight into the men­tal process­es under­pin­ning human behav­ior: thanks to rapid advances in neu­rotech­nol­o­gy it is pos­si­ble to record, mon­i­tor, decode and mod­u­late the neur­al cor­re­lates of men­tal process­es with ever more accu­ra­cy. In this rapid­ly evolv­ing tech­no­log­i­cal sce­nario, a new paper, pub­lished in Life Sci­ences, Soci­ety and Pol­i­cy, advo­cates for recon­cep­tu­al­iz­ing and even cre­at­ing new human rights: the right to cog­ni­tive lib­er­ty, men­tal pri­va­cy, men­tal integri­ty, and psy­cho­log­i­cal con­ti­nu­ity.”

The Paper

Towards new human rights in the age of neu­ro­science and neu­rotech­nol­o­gy (Life Sci­ences, Soci­ety and Pol­i­cy). From the con­clu­sion:

The vol­ume and vari­ety of neu­rotech­nol­o­gy appli­ca­tions is rapid­ly increas­ing inside and out­side the clin­i­cal and research set­ting. The ubiq­ui­tous dis­tri­b­u­tion of cheap­er, scal­able and easy-to-use neu­roap­pli­ca­tions has the poten­tial of open­ing unprece­dent­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties at the brain-machine inter­face and mak­ing neu­rotech­nol­o­gy intri­cate­ly embed­ded in our every­day life. While this tech­no­log­i­cal trend may gen­er­ate immense advan­tage for soci­ety at large in terms of clin­i­cal ben­e­fit, pre­ven­tion, self-quan­tifi­ca­tion, bias-reduc­tion, per­son­al­ized tech­nol­o­gy use, mar­ket­ing analy­sis, mil­i­tary dom­i­nance, nation­al secu­ri­ty and even judi­cial accu­ra­cy, yet its impli­ca­tions for ethics and the law remain large­ly unex­plored. We argue that in the light of the dis­rup­tive change that neu­rotech­nol­o­gy is deter­min­ing in the dig­i­tal ecosys­tem, the nor­ma­tive ter­rain should be urgent­ly pre­pared to pre­vent mis­use or unin­tend­ed neg­a­tive con­se­quences. In addi­tion, giv­en the fun­da­men­tal char­ac­ter of the neu­rocog­ni­tive dimen­sion, we argue that such nor­ma­tive response should not exclu­sive­ly focus on tort law but also on foun­da­tion­al issues at the lev­el of human right law.

Thou canst not touch the free­dom of my mind

John Mil­ton”

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Health & Wellness, Technology

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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