In the past year, school districts in California and elsewhere have contracted with digital surveillance companies to spy on students at school and home, citing the need for mental health support during the pandemic.
Despite being a vigilant and involved parent, I found out only recently that my own kids, who attend high school in the Corona-Norco Unified School District, have been under constant digital surveillance for the past year. [Read more…] about On schools, mental health, digital surveillance, student privacy and parental input
Brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies are no longer hypothetical, yet there are fundamental aspects of the technology that remain unaddressed by both ethicists and policy-makers. Two new papers address these issues by outlining the outstanding ethical issues, offering guidance for addressing those issues, and offering particular insight into the field of BCI tech for cognitive enhancement. [Read more…] about Studies identify key ethical concerns raised by invasive and non-invasive neurotechnologies
In the age of Covid-19, what is the new normal? How many of us have been experiencing the heady cocktail of confusion, anxiety, and even some surprising moments of respite from our recent-past busy rise-and-grind, hustle culture routines?
Our social media feeds are filled with urgent and often conflicting imperatives to change our routines and to direct increased vigilance:
- don’t touch your face, wash our hands-don’t be obsessive though;
- cover our coughs with your elbow-not a tissue;
- social distance-with no interaction, or maybe with some interaction, just watch for your local businesses as you’re sheltering-in; and
- no matter what, don’t panic—you should be scared, but please, stay calm.
–> Keep reading my new article, co-authored with Dr. Karen S. Rommelfanger, over at Emory University’s Neuroethics blog: LESSONS FROM COVID-19: COULD A NEW NORMAL LEAD TO BETTER BRAINS, BODIES, AND SOCIETIES?
Related resources on stress, physical and mental health:
See above the fascinating presentations by Dr. Anna Wexler, Dr. Karen Rommelfanger and Jacqueline Studer on privacy and ethics during the 2019 SharpBrains Virtual Summit.
We still lack clear standards and taxonomies for neurotechnology but several initiatives are underway to anticipate and address the challenges. One important take-away is that it is important to be aspirational and pragmatic rather than “legalistic” — by considering diverse policy and industry perspectives, striving for the widest benefit with the minimum risks, and better educating users, we can enable beneficial innovation in ways that regulation alone –as important as it is– cannot. [Read more…] about Will better neurotech regulations be enough to address privacy, effectiveness and potential harm concerns?
The perils of opening the mind (Boston Globe):
“Forget the joystick. Today you can use your mind alone to navigate virtual environments or fly real-world drones. You can buy sleek headbands that read your brain signals and help you meditate or stay focused. Or you can get them for your kids to make sure they’re working, not daydreaming [Read more…] about Let’s anticipate the potential misuse of neurological data to minimize the risks–and maximize the benefits
Time to wrap-up another stimulating month with SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring this time a range of promising news for everyone with a (human) brain 🙂
New tech for brain health:
- Neuroengineering meets neuroethics to address treatment-resistant depression
- Study: Hearing aids may help older adults delay dementia, depression, anxiety, and falls
- Four guidelines for smart use of smartphones
New brain and mind research:
- Reminder: A brain-friendly lifestyle is the best approach to delay cognitive decline and dementia
- Study challenges the “seductive” amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
- Study finds a key ingredient in mindfulness training: Acceptance (not acquiescence)
New thinking to shape education and healthcare:
- What are the ethics of discouraging much-needed innovation given potential privacy concerns?
- Help select the campaign sticker for Brain Awareness Week 2020
- SharpBrains y El Cerebro Que Cura se presentan en Madrid
- Growing concern and hope about astronauts’ cognitive health during spaceflight
Finally, a few riddles to tease your brain:
- Nine great riddles about Life and Death
- Seven sharp riddles to celebrate Thanksgiving in perfect harmony
Have a great Thanksgiving and December,
The SharpBrains Team