Reports  |    |  October 21, 2019

Neuroethics Roadmap — The BRAIN Initiative and Neuroethics: Enabling and Enhancing Neuroscience Advances for Society

Report developed by the NIH ACD BRAIN Initiative Neuroethics Subgroup (BNS). Presents its findings and analyses regarding neuroethics issues in current and potential research as part of the BRAIN Initiative. The BNS also offers some specific suggestions regarding NIH activities in the BRAIN Initiative. The BNS proposes that the Advisory Committee to the Director, NIH (ACD) recommend to the NIH Director that the NIH, specifically the NIH BRAIN Initiative, consider the findings, analysis, and suggestions in this report for integration, rather than as a parallel effort, into the BRAIN Initiative research program. The BNS recognizes that the some of their findings and suggestions go beyond the mission of NIH or would require NIH to work with other federal agencies and non-federal entities and stakeholders. In those cases, the BNS proposes that the ACD recommend to the NIH Director that NIH look for opportunities to engage with broader stakeholder communities to address issues and achieve outcomes consistent with the spirit of the BNS Neuroethics Roadmap.

The BNS has conducted a portfolio review and held a public workshop on neuroethical issues posed by research through the BRAIN Initiative. The BNS requested comments from the public on draft findings and analysis detailed in a their draft Neuroethics roport in Spring 2019, and incorporated edits as appropriate. The Neuroethics Subgroup has also provided analysis and findings to the Working Group on BRAIN 2.0 for inclusion in the Working Group’s report. The findings and analysis from the BNS were presented to the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD), for consideration at a public meeting on June 14, 2019.

After receiving feedback from the ACD and NIH Director, the Neuroethics Subgroup made revisions to the report, which was presented to the ACD via teleconference on October 21, 2019. The report, The BRAIN Initiative and Neuroethics: Enabling and Enhancing Neuroscience Advances for Society, was endorsed by the ACD. NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins accepted the ACD endorsed report and NIH will carefully consider how to integrate the findings of The BRAIN Initiative and Neuroethics: Enabling and Enhancing Neuroscience Advances for Society in future BRAIN Initiative priorities and investments.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
    • Neuroethics Past, Present and Future
    • Studying Ourselves: The Uniqueness of Neuroscience
    • Neuroethical Issues and Neurotechnologies
    • Neruoethics and Research With Animals
    • Beyond the Bench: Real-World Translation of Neuroscience Research
    • Integrating Neuroethics and Neuroscience
  • Neuroethics Transformative Project — Revolutionizing BRAIN: Understandinig the Bases of Consciousness: Intersection of Neuroscience and Neuroethics
  • Closing Thoughts: A Unified Path for Neuroethics and Neuroscience
  • Appendix 1: Roster
  • Appendix 2: Case Studies