Mind Reading — Neuroimaging as a gaze into the innermost of the psyche
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Neuroscience, broadly speaking the endeavor of understanding nerve system functioning and its relation to perception, feeling, thinking, and behavior, is one of the leading fields in contemporary research. However, in order to determine the legal implications of neuroscience it is necessary in the first place to reflect on what it means to carry out an experiment with human subjects, particularly to transfer a finding from a laboratory setting to the real life world of people. This reflection will be done in the first part of this article. In its second part, this article explains basic methodological and experimental issues of fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) research, particularly the nature of the data that are generated with this technique which is considered the most important to investigate human brain function nowadays. The concluding section relates these issues to legally salient questions of neuroscience research.
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