zaterdag 29 januari 2005

Brain imaging and ethics

Brain imaging is an interesting area to follow, not only from a medical perspective. A lot is done in order to better understand the influence of marketing for instance. But it goes much further, raising meny ethical questions in the process. Like this one:



"The most complex, fraught, and uncertain aspect of brain imaging being discussed by neuroethicists is the potential these technologies hold for screening job and school applicants. This so far remains more a hypothetical notion than a budding industry, and no company or school has announced plans to scan applicants. Yet many ethicists feel the temptation will be overwhelming. How to resist a screen that can gauge precisely the sorts of traits—persistence, extroversion, the ability to focus or multitask—that make good employees or students?"



I'm not really afraid if we would use these technicques in society, even for screening purposes. We're already using similar tools, although they are less effecient and/or effective. What's wrong with having the ability to better match people to a specific job? It's only dangerous for the people who use these tools while not knowing what they can't do. And one thing they can't do in my opinion is really 'gauge precisely the sorts of traits—persistence, extroversion, the ability to focus or multitask—that make good employees or students'.

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