Original Paper


, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 119-134

First online:

The Need for Interdisciplinary Dialogue in Developing Ethical Approaches to Neuroeducational Research

  • Paul A. Howard-JonesAffiliated withGraduate School of Education, University of Bristol Email author 
  • , Kate D. FentonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of West of England

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This paper argues that many ethical issues in neuroeducational research cannot be appropriately addressed using the principles and guidance available in one of these areas alone, or by applying these in simple combination. Instead, interdisciplinary and public dialogue will be required to develop appropriate normative principles. In developing this argument, it examines neuroscientific and educational perspectives within three broad categories of ethical issue arising at the interface of cognitive neuroscience and education: issues regarding the carrying out of interdisciplinary research, the scrutiny and communication of findings and concepts, and the application of research and associated issues of policy likely to arise in the future. To help highlight the need for interdisciplinary and public discussion, we also report the opinions of a group of educators (comprising trainee teachers, teachers and head teachers) on the neuroeducational ethics of cognitive enhancing drugs, infant screening, genetic profiling and animal research.


Educational neuroscience Neuroeducational research Education Cognitive enhancing drugs Infant screening Genetic profiling Animal research