faculty-aguirreAssociate Professor of Neurology

Dr. Aguirre has developed image analysis methods used in neuroscience labs around the world. His interest in the design, analysis and interpretation of brain imaging studies has recently led him to focus on the ways in which neuroimaging is used, and misused, in a variety of different societal contexts, including legal settings.

Representative Publication: Aguirre, G. (2008). The political brain. Cerebrum. Published online on September 12, 2008

Featured Video: What Lurks Behind the Brain Image: Differentiating Neuroscience from Neuro-Bunk

Professor of Neurosurgery

Neurosurgical interventions offer a unique window into human brain function but pose ethical challenges. How can we ensure the voluntariness of participation in research studies by patients with electrodes implanted in their brain for clinical purposes? What are the individual and societal implications of treatments based on neural prostheses, such as cortical visual prostheses for restoring visual function to people who are blind?

Representative Publication:Sierra-Mercado, D., Zuk, P., Beauchamp, M. S., Sheth, S. A., Yoshor, D., Goodman, W. K., McGuire, A. L., & Lázaro-Muñoz, G. (2019). Device Removal Following Brain Implant Research. Neuron, 103(5), 759–761.

 Anjan Chatterjee, MDProfessor of Neurology

Dr. Chatterjee is a cognitive neurologist whose work encompasses the societal and ethical implications of brain enhancement, the role of physicians as healers versus lifestyle enhancers and the new field of neuroaesthics.

Representative Publication: Nadal, M., & Chatterjee, A. (2019). Neuroaesthetics and art’s diversity and universality. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 10(3), e1487.

Featured VideoNeuroethics – Are Better Brains Better?

faculty-DeRubeis90Samuel H. Preston Term Professor in the Social Sciences and Chair of the Department of Psychology

Dr. DeRubeis’ research focuses on depression, its treatment and the scientific and social issues surrounding choices between medication and cognitive therapy.

Representative PublicationDeRubeis, R. J., Siegle G. J., & Hollon, S. D. (2008). Cognitive therapy versus medication for depression: Treatment outcomes and neural mechanisms. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9, 788-796.

Featured Video: Medication of Sadness 

Emily FalkProfessor, Annenberg School for Communication

Dr. Falk uses the concepts and methods of neuroscience, psychology and communication science to understand how we are affected by media. She is particularly concerned with communication aimed at changing health behavior and the potential of functional brain imaging to better predict behavior and behavior change in response to health campaigns.

Representative publication: Berkman, E.T., & Falk, E.B. (2013). Beyond brain mapping: Using the brain to predict real-world outcomes. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 22(1), 45-50.

Featured Video: Brain waves and how people behave

faculty-farahWalter H. Annenberg Professor of Natural Sciences

Dr. Farah is interested in a variety of social, legal and ethical issues raised by progress in neuroscience, as well as the effects of childhood socioeconomic status on brain development and life trajectories.

Representative Publication: Farah, M. J. (2018). Socioeconomic status and the brain: Prospects for neuroscience-informed policy. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 19(7), 428.

Featured Video: Living in a Neurosociety: A Neuroethics Overview

faculty-fosterProfessor Emeritus and Associate Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering

Dr. Foster is a professor of bioengineering whose varied interests include the social and ethical impact of neurotechnologies, including neural prostheses and brain imaging. He also teaches the “Ethics for Engineers” course at Penn.

Representative Publication: Foster, K.R. (2006). Engineering the brain. In Illes, J (Ed.), Neuroethics: Defining the issues in theory, practice and policy (185-200). New York: Oxford University Press.

faculty-ggoodwinAssociate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Goodwin studies the psychology of moral reasoning, including the ways in which people think about, and judge the morality of, brain enhancements. His current research focuses on why people resist neuro-enhancement technologies that improve psychological functioning, and focuses particularly on people’s conceptions of the self and the causal assumptions they make regarding their behavior.

Representative PublicationRiis, J., Simmons, J.P. , & Goodwin, G.P.  (2008). Preferences for psychological enhancements: The reluctance to enhance fundamental traits. Journal of Consumer Research 5, 495–508.

faculty-hamiltonAssociate Professor of Neurology

As the director of the Laboratory for Cognition and Neural Stimulation at Penn, Dr. Hamilton studies neural plasticity and recovery of function in neurological patients using magnetic and electrical brain stimulation techniques, and also investigates the effects of brain stimulation in normal healthy individuals. He is also strongly committed to enhancing the education and advancement of underserved and underrepresented groups in neurology, neuroscience, and medicine, and directs a variety of initiatives serving the needs of these populations.

Representative Publication: Cabrera, L. Y., Evans, E. L., & Hamilton, R. H. (2014). Ethics of the electrified mind: defining issues and perspectives on the principled use of brain stimulation in medical research and clinical care. Brain topography, 27(1), 33-45.

Professor and Chair, Neurology Department

Dr. Jensen is the Chair of The Neurology Department and well known for her work explicating adolescent behavior to the public in terms of brain development. Her main research focus is on developing new age-specific therapies for epilepsy and its comorbidities. Her lab specifically focuses on forms of epilepsy that affect the infant and early childhood brain.

Representative Publication: Jensen, F.E., Nutt, A.E. (2015) The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults. HarperCollins Publishers.

Featured Video: The Teenage Brain


Professor of Psychology

Dr. Kable studies the neuroscience of decision-making, with special attention to the brain differences that underlie different styles and abilities for decision-making and the neural representation of value.

Representative Publication: Kable, J. W., Caulfield, M. K., Falcone, M., McConnell, M., Bernardo, L., Parthasarathi, T., Cooper, N., Ashare, R., Audrain-McGovern, J., Hornik, R., Diefenback, P., Lee, F., and Lerman, C. (2017). No effect of commercial cognitive training on brain activity, choice behavior or cognitive performance. Journal of Neuroscience.

faculty-karlawishProfessor of Medicine and Medical Ethics

Dr. Karlawish’s research concerns the ethical, legal and social issues that arise in the lives of persons with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Representative Publication: Molinuevo, J. L., Cami, J., Carné, X., Carrillo, M. C., Georges, J., Isaac, M. B., … & Ritchie, C. (2016). Ethical challenges in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease observational studies and trials: Results of the Barcelona summit. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 12(5), 614-622.

faculty-langlebenProfessor of Psychiatry at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center

Dr. Langleben studies the neural correlates of deception, drug craving, and the effects of advertising, as well as the social and ethical issues raised by our growing ability to image these processes.

Representative PublicationLangleben, D. D., & Moriarty, J. C. (2013). Using brain imaging for lie detection: Where science, law, and policy collide. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 19(2), 222.

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Mackey is using neuroscience as means to understanding and reducing the socioeconomic achievement gap.  Her lab studies the mechanisms by which environmental factors tip the balance between plasticity/vulnerability and stability/protection to shorten or shift windows of peak plasticity.

Representative PublicationMackey, A. P., Finn, A. S., Leonard, J. A., Jacoby-Senghor, D. S., West, M. R., Gabrieli, C. F., & Gabrieli, J. D. (2015). Neuroanatomical correlates of the income-achievement gap. Psychological science, 26(6), 925-933.

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Medaglia uses multimodal neuroimaging and brain stimulation to study and improve human self-control. He is interested inhow patients, experts, and the public make decisions about neuromodulation.

Representative Publication: Medaglia, J. D., Yaden, D. B., Helion, C., & Haslam, M. (2019). Moral attitudes and willingness to enhance and repair cognition with brain stimulation. Brain stimulation12(1), 44-53.

Featured Video: What people think is right and wrong to do with neuroenhancement

faculty-morenoDavid and Lyn Silfen University Professor and Professor of Biomedical Ethics and History and Sociology of Science

Dr. Moreno’s current interests include the role of neuroscience in the military and ethical issues concerning human-animal neural stem cell chimera.

Representative PublicationTennison, M. N., & Moreno, J. D. (2012). Neuroscience, ethics, and national security: the state of the art. PLoS Biol, 10(3), e1001289.

Featured Video: The Brain and National Defense: A Neuroethics History