Document Detail


Effects of Brain Lesions on Moral Agency: Ethical Dilemmas in Investigating Moral Behavior.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  25120025     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Understanding how the "brain produces behavior" is a guiding idea in neuroscience. It is thus of no surprise that establishing an interrelation between brain pathology and antisocial behavior has a long history in brain research. However, interrelating the brain with moral agency-the ability to act in reference to right and wrong-is tricky with respect to therapy and rehabilitation of patients affected by brain lesions. In this contribution, we outline the complexity of the relationship between the brain and moral behavior, and we discuss ethical issues of the neuroscience of ethics and of its clinical consequences. First, we introduce a theory of moral agency and apply it to the issue of behavioral changes caused by brain lesions. Second, we present a typology of brain lesions both with respect to their cause, their temporal development, and the potential for neural plasticity allowing for rehabilitation. We exemplify this scheme with case studies and outline major knowledge gaps that are relevant for clinical practice. Third, we analyze ethical pitfalls when trying to understand the brain-morality relation. In this way, our contribution addresses both researchers in neuroscience of ethics and clinicians who treat patients affected by brain lesions to better understand the complex ethical questions, which are raised by research and therapy of brain lesion patients.
Authors:
Markus Christen; Sabine Müller
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2014-8-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current topics in behavioral neurosciences     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1866-3370     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr Top Behav Neurosci     Publication Date:  2014 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-8-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101535383     Medline TA:  Curr Top Behav Neurosci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
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