2018 Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA, USA
November 1-2

Cutting Edge Neuroscience, Cutting Edge Neuroethics


San Diego Central Library
Shiley Special Events Suite
330 Park Boulevard
San Diego, CA, USA 

Photo of library exterior

Rates will be announced and registration will open June 2018.

Schedule is subject to change.


Thursday, November 1


10:00–10:30 AM

Registration / Networking / Coffee


10:30–10:35 AM


  • Steve Hyman and Ariel Cascio, Program Committee Co-Chairs


PLENARY LECTURE (10:35–11:00 AM)

Tom Insel

Mindstrong Health


PANEL (11:00 AM–12:30 PM)

Digitally Decoding Brain & Behavior

In the past decade, the development of devices that collect information passively has given behavioral scientists a new window into human behavior. Smartphones, assistants (e.g. Google Home and Amazon Echo), wearables and environmental sensors have an unprecedented reach. They are becoming increasingly common and can collect data continually and passively. These devices can have benefits such as offering digital phenotyping for early signals of depression, psychosis, or seizures. However, the power of this approach has also raised questions about transparency, agency, and responsible use. This panel will explore the potential unintended consequences with this exciting new opportunity.

  • Oliver Harrison, Alpha Health, Telefonica
  • Nicole Martinez, Stanford University
  • John Torous, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Tanzeem Choudhury, Cornell University
  • Moderated by Tom Insel, Mindstrong Health


12:30–1:30 PM




Emily Postan

University of Edinburgh


PANEL (2:15–3:45 PM)

DBS: Continuity of Self?

There is disagreement about whether deep brain stimulation (DBS) causes personality changes, and if so whether such changes generate any cause for concern. To unpack this disagreement, we must clarify what we mean by ‘personality changes’, how they would be measured clinically, and which instances of personality change (if any) require attention. Questions regarding prevalence and severity of personality changes following DBS should be raised against this background. The answers may inform regulation of DBS interventions, or procedures safeguarding informed consent. This panel will facilitate discussion to clarify concepts and uncover where there is genuine disagreement regarding facts and values.

  • Winston Chiong, University of California, San Francisco
  • Jonathan Pugh, University of Oxford
  • Cynthia Kubu, Cleveland Clinic
  • Moderated by Hannah Maslen, University of Oxford


BREAK (3:45–4:15 PM)


4:15–5:15 PM

Poster Presentations / Judging

Authors of even-numbered poster presentations will speak at assigned times.


PANEL (5:30–7:00 PM)

Public Program

Developed in partnership with The Center for Ethics in Science and Technology


7:00–8:00 PM



8:30 PM

Affinity Group Dinners



Friday, November 2


8:00–9:00 AM

Breakfast / Business Meeting


9:00–9:15 AM


  • Recap of Thursday sessions by Steve Hyman and Ariel Cascio, Program Committee Co-Chairs
  • Presentation of the Steven E. Hyman Award for Distinguished Service to the Field of Neuroethics


PANEL (9:15–10:45 AM)

Brain Surrogates: Perceptions and Reality

Various models are now being developed with human brain tissue that have the potential to provide a much more accurate representation of normal and abnormal brain function and development. These brain surrogates offer researchers a way to investigate how the living human brain works and provide much promise for alleviating the suffering of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Yet there are difficult questions that will be raised as models of the human brain get closer to replicating its functions. This panel will discuss the types of models being developed, the difficult questions raised as advances continue, and the ethical tools needed.

  • Giorgia Quadrato, Harvard University
  • Nenad Sestan, Yale University
  • Laurie Zoloth, University of Chicago
  • Khara Ramos, U.S. National Institutes of Health
  • Moderated by Nita Farahany, Duke Law School


BREAK (10:45–11:00 AM)


11:00 AM–12:00 PM

Poster Presentations / Judging

Authors of odd-numbered poster presentations will speak at assigned times.


12:00–2:00 PM

Lunch / Mentoring Sessions / Ambassador Opportunities


PANEL (2:00–3:30 PM)

Genetics, Behavior, and Society

Genetic research has long raised social and ethical issues that have been discussed across the social and clinical sciences. These issues are currently highlighted in the study of “sociogenomics,” the genetic study of social behaviors and social categories such as educational attainment, measured IQ, reproductive behavior risk-taking. By linking brain and behavior to genetics, these studies raise important neuroethical questions about the relationship between genetics, behavior, and society. Panelists in this session will describe recent discoveries in sociogenomics, discuss the implications of such findings for policy and social action, and contextualize the field of sociogenomics within the broader history of genomics and society, including eugenics.

  • Dalton Conley, Princeton University
  • Kathryn Asbury, University of York (UK)
  • Aaron Panofsky, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Moderated by Ariel Cascio, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal


3:30–4:30 PM

Oral Abstract Presentations


BREAK (4:30–5:00 PM)



Keith Humphreys

Stanford University

Values, science, and public policy towards the opioid epidemic – Addiction to and overdose from opioids is the worst epidemic the United States has faced for many decades. Science on the brain, on treatment options, and on public policies, can and should inform how policymakers respond to the epidemic. But ethical issues including how to balance the need for pain relief with the need to avoid addiction can't be empirically resolved but instead have to be struggled with as part of the political process. This presentation brings the empirical and ethical issues together to suggest policies that will turn back the opioid epidemic.


6:00–7:30 PM

Awards Presentation and Reception

  • Essay Contest recognitions
  • Abstract recognitions 
  • Poster recognitions
  • Drinks and light hors d'oeuvre to be served