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The past two decades have seen unparalleled developments in our knowledge of the brain and mind. However, these advances have forced us to confront head-on some significant ethical issues regarding our application of this information in the real world- whether using brain images to establish guilt within a court of law, or developing drugs to enhance cognition. Historically, any consideration of the ethical, legal, and social implications of emerging technologies in science and medicine has lagged behind the discovery of the technology itself. These delays have caused problems in the acceptability and potential applications of biomedical advances and posed significant problems for the scientific community and the public alike - for example in the case of genetic screening and human cloning. The field of Neuroethics aims to proactively anticipate ethical, legal and social issues at the intersection of neuroscience and ethics, raising questions about what the brain tells us about ourselves, whether the information is what people want or ought to know, and how best to communicate it.
A landmark in the academic literature, the Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics presents a pioneering review of a topic central to the sciences and humanities. It presents a range of chapters considering key issues, discussion, and debate at the intersection of brain and ethics. The handbook contains more than 50 chapters by leaders from around the world and a broad range of sectors of academia and clinical practice spanning the neurosciences, medical sciences and humanities and law. The book focuses on and provides a platform for dialogue of what neuroscience can do, what we might expect neuroscience will do, and what neuroscience ought to do. The major themes include: consciousness and intention; responsibility and determinism; mind and body; neurotechnology; ageing and dementia; law and public policy; and science, society and international perspectives. Tackling some of the most significant ethical issues that face us now and will continue to do so over the coming decades, The Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics will be an essential resource for the field of neuroethics for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, basic scientists in the neurosciences and psychology, scholars in humanities and law, as well as physicians practising in the areas of primary care in neurological medicine.