Neurotechnology

Technologies that intervene in the brain offer the potential to help those with conditions that affect the brain, such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, chronic pain and severe depression.

This report looks at the possible benefits and unintended consequences of intervening in the brain, and sets out an ethical framework to guide the practices of those involved in development, regulation, use and promotion of novel neurotechnologies.

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New guidance on transcranial magnetic stimulation echoes Council’s call for more evidence collection

New guidance from The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) reflects some key recommendations of the Council’s report on novel neurotechnologies.

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Neurotechnology - Communication and the media

Download Chapter 9 - Communication and the media

The ways in which science and technology are presented in the media helps to shape public understanding and expectations. This in turn can affect attitudes, opinions, policy and perhaps investment decisions.

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Neurotechnology - Regulation

Download Chapter 7 - Regulating the technologies

The development and clinical use of these technologies falls into two distinct areas of regulation:

  • The devices used in TBS, DBS and BCIs for medical purposes are regulated as medical devices, and can be marketed once they carry a ‘CE mark’ to indicate compliance with European law.

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Neurotechnology - Care of patients and research participants

Download Chapter 5 - Patients and participants: governing the relationships

An ethical approach to care is not just about ensuring patient safety - it should also support informed decisionmaking and protect against harms such as undue privacy infringements or fostering unrealistic hopes.

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Neurotechnology - Ethical framework

Download Chapter 4 - Ethical framework

The brain has a special status in human life that distinguishes it from other organs. It plays a central role in our movement and communication, our ability to make our own decisions, and our understanding of ourselves and our relationships with others – thus in many ways affecting our ability to lead fulfilling lives.

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Neurotechnology - Responsible research and innovation

Download Chapter 6 - Responsible research and innovation

The concept of ‘responsible research and innovation’ (RRI) has been widely adopted by policy-makers to encourage thinking about the public benefits of science and technology based research.

We identified six key priorities in relation to RRI for novel neurotechnologies:

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Neurotechnology - Chapter downloads

You can download the individual chapters of this report using the links below. (All files are PDFs and less than 1 MB)

Executive summary

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Intervening in the brain: current understanding and practice

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