This unit of study synthesizes and critically scruitinizes our models and concepts of brain and mind through a neuroethics lens. Neuroethics is sub-field of bioethics that is concerned with the ethical, legal and social impact of the neurosciences. Beginning with a module on the historical development of modern neuroscience, students will learn about the beliefs, experiements and discoveries that have led us to recognise how the brain contributes to the human experience in unique ways. Throughout this unit, students will examine how advances in neuroscience have shaped how we conduct research, treat clinical conditions, make individual and collective decisions, and live together as a society. During the class discussions and assessments, students will grapple with the issues that arise when we intervene in the brain and how those interventions modify our concepts of health, illness, identity and morality. The scope of these issues is enormous and speaks to the importance of students developing a clear framework to contextualize developments in neuroscience within the scientific, ethical, cultural, social and legal environments in which they arise.
9am-5pm Wednesday weeks 1, 6 and 10
Class discussions (5%), commentary (15%), position paper 1 (40%), position paper 2 (40%)
Specific reference material listed on eLearning
This is a capstone unit of study for the Master in Brain and Mind Sciences and Master of Medicine (Psychiatry).