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Security implications and governance of cognitive neuroscience: An ethnographic survey of researchers

  • Margaret E. Kosal (a1) and Jonathan Y. Huang (a2)
Abstract

In recent years, significant efforts have been made toward elucidating the potential of the human brain. Spanning fields as disparate as psychology, biomedicine, computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, and chemistry, research venturing into the growing domains of cognitive neuroscience and brain research has become fundamentally interdisciplinary. Among the most interesting and consequential applications to international security are the military and defense community’s interests in the potential of cognitive neuroscience findings and technologies. In the United States, multiple governmental agencies are actively pursuing such endeavors, including the Department of Defense, which has invested over $3 billion in the last decade to conduct research on defense-related innovations. This study explores governance and security issues surrounding cognitive neuroscience research with regard to potential security-related applications and reports scientists’ views on the role of researchers in these areas through a survey of over 200 active cognitive neuroscientists.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Margaret E. Kosal, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, 781 Marietta Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. Email: margaret.kosal@inta.gatech.edu
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