December 05, 2017
from MonashUniversity Website

Spanish version







The Ethics of Neuroscience' which is episode four of 'A Different Lens' examines the fundamental questions being raised by our growing understanding of the human brain.

New technologies are allowing us to have control over the human brain like never before.


As we push the possibilities we must ask ourselves,

what is neuroscience today and how far is too far?

The world's best neurosurgeons can now provide treatments for things that were previously untreatable, such as Parkinson's and clinical depression.


Many patients are cured, while others develop side effects such as erratic behavior and changes in their personality.

Not only do we have greater understanding of,

  • clinical psychology

  • forensic psychology

  • criminal psychology,

...we also have more control.


Professional athletes and gamers are now using this technology - some of it untested - to improve performance. However, with these amazing possibilities come great ethical concerns.

This manipulation of the brain has far-reaching effects, impacting,

  • the law

  • marketing

  • health industries,

...and beyond.


We need to investigate the capabilities of neuroscience and ask the ethical questions that will determine how far we can push the science of mind and behavior.









Adrian Carter
Senior Research Fellow, Psychology

Adrian is a leading figure in Addiction Neuroethics. He studies the impact of neuroscience on our understanding and treatment of addiction and other compulsive behaviors. Core topics include notions of agency, identity and moral responsibility; public and patient understanding of addiction; the use of coercion in the treatment of addiction and mental illness; the capacity for voluntary control of addictive or compulsive behaviors; and the use of emerging technologies, such as deep brain stimulation and brain imaging, to treat addiction and other mental illnesses.


Paul Fitzgerald
Professor of Psychiatry, Deputy Director and Consultant Psychiatrist at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre

Paul is both a researcher and a clinical psychiatrist. He uses brain stimulation and neuroimaging techniques to conduct investigative studies of brain function / dysfunction in disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, substance abuse and autism. In addition, he conducts a broad program of clinical trials of novel brain stimulation techniques.


Jamie Walvisch
Lecturer, School of Law

Jamie’s research focuses on the intersection between mental health and criminal law. He is particularly interested in the way mental health issues should be taken into account in the sentencing context, as well as in broader questions of criminal responsibility and culpability. He teaches units on Criminal Law, Forensic Evidence, Lawyer's Ethics and Professional Practice.


Narelle Warren
Lecturer, School of Social Sciences

Narelle is a medical anthropologist whose research explores the everyday experiences of chronic conditions and disability, including how care is arranged, negotiated, and deployed in practice. Her current research focuses on understanding the relationship between the lived experience of neurological conditions, biomedical representations of the brain and temporality, from both the perspectives of people living with such conditions and their informal carers.


Robert Sparrow
Professor of Philosophy; Adjunct Professor, Centre for Human Bioethics

Robert's research interests are bioethics, political philosophy and applied ethics; he is an expert in philosophical arguments with real-world implications.