Functional Neuroimaging Information: A Case for Neuro Exceptionalism?
76 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2010 Last revised: 21 Aug 2010
Date Written: August 1, 2006
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has built on a number of technologies, including electroencephalography, magnetoencephalography, positron emission tomography, and single-photon emission computed tomography, to become one of the decade's most powerful tools for mapping sensory, motor, and cognitive function. Scientists also are using fMRI to study the neural correlates of a range of conditions, characteristics, and social behaviors, including schizophrenia, addiction, racial evaluation, deception, cooperation, and sexual preferences. Now poised to move outside the research context, functional neuroimaging raises a number of confidentiality, privacy, and identity issues. In this Article, I examine whether special, or heightened, confidentiality, privacy, and informed consent provisions are needed to respond to developments in functional neuroimaging. En route to arguing that advances in fMRI renew the call for broad-based privacy protections in the employment and insurance contexts and require an expanded notion of informed consent, I address the proper roles and responsibilities of scientists, physicians, lawyers, and ethicists in the public and neuroethics arenas
Keywords: Neuroethics, neuroscience, confidentiality, privacy, identity, functional neuroimaging, fMRI
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