Neuroethics 2024
INS Annual Meeting
Baltimore USA + Virtual

Hybrid Minds: What is it like to use neuroprostheses, and why does it matter?

This panel considers neuroprostheses that integrate the brain, mind, neurotechnological artifact and software into a hybrid form that blurs the boundaries between devices, body and mind — which we call the hybrid mind Our research consortium, Hybrid Minds, has been considering the experiential dimensions of using neuroprostheses, as well as their ethical and legal consequences. Four presentations will address these different aspects of the hybrid mind.

Speakers:

Event

Neuroethics 2024

  • Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2024
  • Start Time: 9:00 am EDT / 13:00 UTC
  • Duration: 90 minutes

Agenda

  1. Meeting welcome / 5 minutes
  2. Panel introduction / 2 minutes
  3. Presentations / 60 mins
  4. Q&A / 20 minutes

Presentations

Ian Burkhart – How did I relate to my neuroprosthesis?

This presentation gives a first person perspective from a participant in a trial of an implanted brain-computer interface that delivered peripheral nerve stimulation to restore arm and hand movement. It focuses on the perceived relationship between user and device, and on how it is integrated into the self (bodily embodiment and psychological aspects). Disclosures: None.

Jennifer Chandler – What is it like to communicate with a neuroprosthesis?

This presentation discusses the use of microphenomenological interviewing to understand the mental gestures and strategies adopted to communicate with brain-computer interface decoders, the value and limits of the strategy, and the ethics of incorporating subjective experience in neuroscience and technology. Disclosures: Member of advisory board for InBrain Neuroelectronics

Christoph Bublitz – Are neuroprostheses part of the body or mind?

Several legal categories are engaged by implanted neuroprostheses, including the body, the mind, physical objects, and intangible software. Legal regimes vary according to these categories. This presentation considers problems with this legal classification, whether and when devices become part of the person, and the legal implications that follow. Disclosures: None.

Marcello Ienca – Converging ethics for smart neuroprostheses

This presentation explores the intersection of AI ethics, engineering ethics, and neuroethics as a response to the recent convergence of AI with neurotechnologies and neuroengineering into technologies such as closed-loop brain-computer interfaces.  Through a comprehensive exploration of the synergies between these three ethical frameworks, this presentation aims to shed light on both the overlapping and unique ethical considerations that emerge as these fields intertwine. Disclosures: None.

Speakers

Christoph Bublitz
Legal Scholar, Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Hamburg
Ian Burkhart
Co-Founder, BCI Pioneers Coalition,
President, North American Spinal Cord Injury Consortium
President, Ian Burkhart Foundation
Jennifer A Chandler
Bertram Loeb Research Chair
Professor, Faculties of Law and Medicine
Vice-Dean, Research, Faculty of Law
Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics
University of Ottawa, Brain Mind Research Institute
Affiliate Investigator, Bruyère Research Institute
Marcello Ienca
Professor, Ethics of AI and Neuroscience
Affiliate Investigator, Bruyère Research Institute