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Ethical Aspects of Computational Neuroscience


Recent research in computational neuroscience has demonstrated that we now possess the ability to simulate neural systems in significant detail and on a large scale. Simulations on the scale of a human brain have recently been reported. The ability to simulate entire brains (or significant portions thereof) would be a revolutionary scientific advance, with substantial benefits for brain science. However, the prospect of whole-brain simulation comes with a set of new and unique ethical questions. In the present paper, we briefly outline certain of those problems and emphasize the need to begin considering the ethical aspects of computational neuroscience.

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I thank J. R. Caldwell and two reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.

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Correspondence to Tyler D. Bancroft.

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Bancroft, T.D. Ethical Aspects of Computational Neuroscience. Neuroethics 6, 415–418 (2013).

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  • Ethics
  • Computational neuroscience
  • Simulation
  • Neuroethics
  • Organizational invariance