Transcript: Zach Hall on Neuroethics: A Challenge for a New Age | Jan 24, 2004

Zach Hall stands behind a wooden lectern on a small stage and addresses an unseen audience. A banner on the lectern reads "Centre for addiction and mental health."
Zach is in his sixties, with short wavy white hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing glasses, a beige suit, blue shirt, and red checked tie.

He says NOW WHAT IS
NEUROETHICS?
UM, AL JONSEN, A DISTINGUISHED
BIO-ETHICIST FROM UCSF AND THE
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
DESCRIBED NEUROETHICS AS...

A blue slide reads "Neuroethics. The unexplored continent lying between the two populated shores of ethics and neuroscience. Al Jonsen."

Zach continues NOW YOU WILL IMMEDIATELY
RECOGNIZE THAT ALTHOUGH I HAVE
SOME KNOWLEDGE AND EVEN PAPERS
OF IDENTITY ON ONE OF THESE TWO
SHORES I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO
CREDENTIALS ON THE OTHER.
AT BEST I'M TREADING ON
UNFAMILIAR GROUND TODAY AND AT
WORSE MAYBE JUDGED GUILTY OF
PRACTICING PHILOSOPHY WITHOUT A LICENSE.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Zach Hall. University of Southern Carolina. Neuroethics: A challenge for a new age. Centre for addiction and mental health. November 12, 2003."

Zach continues I HAVE NO PROFESSIONAL
BACKGROUND IN ETHICS OR
NEUROETHICS.
AND IN FACT, WITH THE EXCEPTION
OF A SHORT SUMMARY AT THE
CONFERENCE THIS TALK IS MY
MAIDEN VOYAGE INTO THAT VAST,
UNEXPLORED CONTINENT.
SO HOW DID I BECOME INTERESTED
IN NEUROETHICS AND WHY AM I
HERE?
AS A NEUROSCIENTIST I'VE BEEN
FASCINATED WITH THE SCOPE AND
FUTURE TRAJECTORY OF
DISCOVERIES IN BRAIN SCIENCE
AND WITH WHAT I SEE AS THE
POSSIBLY PROFUNDITY OF THEIR
IMPLICATIONS NOT JUST FOR
SCIENCE FOR SOCIETY AT LARGE.
I BELIEVE THAT THE IMPACT OF
DISCOVERIES IN NEUROSCIENCE
OVER THE NEXT 25 YEARS WILL
RIVAL OR PERHAPS EVEN EXCEED
THOSE OF GENETICS IN TERMS OF
THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIETY.
I'VE ALSO BEEN CONCERNED WITH
HOW LITTLE WE AS A SOCIETY ARE
PREPARED TO THINK ABOUT THESE
IMPLICATIONS AND TO DISCUSS
THEM.
THOSE WHO ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE
ABOUT NEUROSCIENCE ARE
GENERALLY TOO BUSY IN THE LAB
TO DISCUSS SUCH ISSUES AND
THOSE WHO WANT TO DISCUSS THEM
ARE ALL TOO OFTEN TOO LITTLE
KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT
NEUROSCIENCE OR ETHICS.
ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO WILLIAM
SAFFAR, THE CONSERVATIVE NEW
YORK TIMES COLUMNIST UH, SELF-
DESCRIBED RIGHT WING CURMUDGEON
AND PREVIOUS MEMBER OF THE
NIXON WHITE HOUSE STAFF BECAME
THE PRESIDENT OF AN
ORGANIZATION CALLED THE DANA
FOUNDATION.
UNDER ITS PREVIOUS LEADER DAVID
MAHONEY THE FOUNDATION HAD
PLAYED AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT
ROLE IN THE U.S. AND IN EUROPE
IN EDUCATING OPINION MAKERS IN
THE GOVERNMENT AND IN THE
PRIVATE SECTOR ABOUT THE NEED
TO SUPPORT BRAIN RESEARCH.
AFTER DAVID MAHONEY'S
UNFORTUNATE DEATH, SAFFAR
ASSUMED LEADERSHIP OF THE
FOUNDATION AND CONVENED A GROUP
OF DANA MEMBERS TO ADVISE HIM
ON NEW DIRECTIONS THAT THE
FOUNDATION MIGHT TAKE.
DURING THOSE DISCUSSIONS I
SUGGESTED THAT THE FOUNDATION
MIGHT PLAY A ROLE IN BRINGING
THE LARGER IMPLICATIONS OF
CONTEMPORARY BRAIN RESEARCH TO
THE ATTENTION OF THE PUBLIC.
SAFFAR WAS TAKEN WITH THIS
NOTION AND ASKED ME TO ORGANIZE
A CONFERENCE ON THE TOPIC OF
NEUROETHICS A TERM FOR THOSE OF
YOU HE... WHO'VE SEEN "THE
GRADUATE" UH, HE SAID "WITH ALL
THE EMPHASIS OF PLASTICS."

[Laughter]

Zach continues IN THAT WONDERFUL
FILM.
ANYHOW, NEUROETHICS WAS A TERM
I FIRST HEARD FROM HIM AND IN
FACT, BOTH HE AND I THOUGHT HE
HAD COINED THE WORD RIGHT THERE
ON THE SPOT BUT IT LATER TURNED
OUT IT HAS BEEN USED PREVIOUSLY
BY UM, SEVERAL PEOPLE INCLUDING
PATRICIA CHURCHLIN, THE
DISTINGUISHED PHILOSOPHER.
AT ANY RATE, WORKING WITH TWO
BIO-ETHICISTS, BARBARA CANIG OF
STANFORD AND AL JONSEN I THEN
HELPED ORGANIZE A CONFERENCE ON
NEUROETHICS IN SAN FRANCISCO IN
MAY 2002.
IT WAS JOINTLY SPONSORED BY THE
DANA FOUNDATION, UCSF AND
STANFORD.
AND THE PURPOSE WAS TO BRING
TOGETHER NEUROSCIENTISTS,
ETHICISTS AND THOSE CONCERNED
WITH SOCIAL POLICY TO TALK
ABOUT THE SOCIAL, LEGAL AND
ETHICAL ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS
OF BRAIN RESEARCH.
OUR INTENTION WAS NOT TO
PROVIDE ANSWERS BUT AS THE UH,
FIGURE INDICATES TO MAP THE
TERRAIN OF THIS NEW FIELD AND
TO INITIATE DISCUSSION OF IT.
WE WERE NOT ALONE IN OUR
CONCERN.
SEVERAL OTHER CONFERENCES OR
PANELS ON SIMILAR TOPICS WERE
ORGANIZED ABOUT THE SAME TIME
AND ARTICLES BEGAN TO APPEAR IN
THE PRESS, SOME OF THEM
STIMULATED BY OUR CONFERENCE.
THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FOR
EXAMPLE UH, RECENTLY HAD AN
ISSUE DEDICATED TO BETTER
BRAINS THROUGH NEUROSCIENCE AND
INCLUDED AN EDITORIAL ON
NEUROETHICS THAT WE WERE
PLEASED TO SEE CITED OUR
CONFERENCE.
ONE OF OUR AIMS WAS TO BRING
TOGETHER AS BROAD A GROUP AS
POSSIBLE.
SCIENTISTS, ETHICISTS,
PHILOSOPHERS, THOSE INTERESTED
IN PUBLIC POLICY AND THE LAW
AND IT REFLECTED OUR CONCERN
THAT FROM THE BEGINNING
NEUROETHICS NOT BE AN ACADEMIC
SUBSPECIALTY BUT THAT IT SHOULD
BE A TOPIC FOR BROAD DISCOURSE
WITHIN OUR SOCIETY.
SO WITH THAT BACKGROUND OF WHY
I CAME TO BE INVOLVED IN
NEUROETHICS UM, LET ME BEGIN BY
TALKING ABOUT THE PART OF
NEUROETHICS I KNOW MOST ABOUT
WHICH IS THE NEURO PART.
AND WHAT I WANT TO DO IS
BRIEFLY SPEND A LITTLE TIME
TALKING ABOUT THE CURRENT
ACHIEVEMENTS AND FUTURE PROMISE
OF BRAIN RESEARCH.
FOR THOSE FEW WHO MAY BE
UNFAMILIAR WITH IT, THE HUMAN
BRAIN IS ABOUT THREE POUNDS OF
FATTY TISSUE THAT WE ALL CARRY
IN OUR HEADS...

A drawing of a human brain appears on screen.

Zach continues UM, IT LOOKS
SIMPLE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF
THE WRINKLES ON THE SURFACE BUT
THIS EXTRAORDINARY ORGAN IS THE
SUPREME ACHIEVEMENT OF
EVOLUTION AND IN FACT, IT'S THE
MOST COMPLICATED THING WE KNOW.
FOR INSTANCE, CRICK IS FAMOUS
FOR SAYING "WE ARE OUR GENES."
BUT HE WAS WRONG.
IT IS MORE ACCURATE TO SAY WE
ARE OUR BRAINS.
OR AS WOODY ALLEN PUT IT MORE
PUNGENTLY "THE BRAIN IS OUR
SECOND MOST IMPORTANT ORGAN."

[Laughter]

Zach continues OUR EVER-CHANGING
BRAINS REFLECT BOTH THE
INFLUENCE OF OUR GENETIC
HERITAGE AND OUR EXPERIENCE AND
THE COMPLEX PHYSICAL,
BIOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL
ENVIRONMENTS THAT WE LIVE IN.
THE BRAIN MANAGES AND CONTROLS
OUR RELATIONS WITH THE EXTERNAL
WORLD, RECEIVING AND
INTERPRETING INPUT AND
DIRECTING THE OUTPUT OF OUR
BODIES, OUR ACTIONS, IT ALSO
REGULATES OUR INTERNAL
ENVIRONMENT BOTH OUR
PHYSIOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT AND
ALSO OUR MENTAL ENVIRONMENT
GIVING RISE TO OUR ACTIVE INTER
LIVES AND OUR SENSE OF
OURSELVES.
IT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE
THINGS THAT GIVE US OUR
INDIVIDUAL IDENTITIES AND MAKE
US MOST HUMAN.
OUR RATIONAL ABILITIES, OUR
CREATIVE ABILITIES, OUR
EMOTIONS, OUR LANGUAGE, OUR
SOCIAL LIVES, IN FACT, OUR VERY
SENSE OF OURSELVES AND WHO WE
ARE.
HOWEVER ONE MAY APPROACH THE
ANCIENT PROBLEM OF
CONSCIOUSNESS THAT IS OUR
SUBJECTIVE SENSE OF REALITY.
THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT IT IS
BASED ON THE ACTIVITIES OF OUR
BRAINS.
THERE ARE TWO OTHER FEATURES OF
NOTE ABOUT THE BRAIN.
FIRST OF ALL, IT HAS THE
EXTRAORDINARY PROPERTY OF BEING
ABLE TO MODIFY ITS FUNCTIONAL
OPERATIONS IN RESPONSE TO ITS
EXPERIENCE TO THE EXTERNAL
WORLD.
IN SHORT, WE CAN LEARN.
SECONDLY AND PERHAPS EVEN MORE
EXTRAORDINARILY THE BRAIN
CARRIES WITHIN IT THE
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ITS OWN SELF-
ASSEMBLY DURING EMBRYONIC AND
EARLY DEVELOPMENT.
IN SHORT, IT IS THE MOST
COMPLICATED THING THAT WE KNOW.
NOW FROM A BIOLOGICAL POINT OF
VIEW THE COMPLEXITY OF THE
BRAIN PRESENTS ITSELF IN
SEVERAL WAYS.
UM, IT HAS A LARGE NUMBER OF CELLS.

A blue slate pops up with the title "Complexity of the brain."

Zach reads data from the slate and continues
AN ESTIMATED 10 TO THE NINTH OF
NEURONS AND IT HAS A REMARKABLE
DIVERSITY UH, IN TERMS OF ITS
BIOLOGICAL COMPARISONS.
THE LIVER CONSISTS OF A FEW
TYPES OF CELLS, THE BRAIN
CONSISTS OF LITERALLY HUNDREDS
OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF NEURONS.
THE BRAIN'S COMPLEXITY IS ALSO
REFLECTED IN ITS GENETIC
DIVERSITY OF THE APPROXIMATELY
30,000 GENES IN THE HUMAN
GENOME, 20,000 ARE ESTIMATED TO
BE EXPRESSED IN THE BRAIN WITH
ONE HALF TO TWO THIRDS OF
THESE, THIS 20,000 EXPRESSED
ONLY PREDOMINANTLY IN THE BRAIN
MUCH MORE THAN ANY OTHER ORGAN
OBVIOUSLY.
AND THEN FINALLY THERE'S THE
BRAIN'S FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY.
WE CAN SPECIFY IN UNAMBIGUOUS
AND IN DETAILED TERMS EXACTLY
WHAT IT IS THAT THE LIVER OR
KIDNEY DOES BUT MANY OF THE
BRAIN'S MOST IMPORTANT QUALI...
FUNCTIONS HAVE AN EFFABLE
QUALITY.
THAT IS, HOW DO WE DEFINE OR
QUANTIFY OUR COMPLEX SOCIAL
RELATIONSHIPS OR OUR ARTISTIC
SENSIBILITY OR INDEED EVEN OUR
INTELLIGENCE, A PROBLEM THAT
HAS CHALLENGED AND BEDEVILLED
SOME GENERATIONS OF EDUCATIONAL
PSYCHOLOGISTS.
NOW THE VERY COMPLEXITY OF THE
BRAIN NEEDLESS TO SAY PRESENTS
A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR
BIOLOGICAL RESEARCHERS, FOR
NEUROSCIENTISTS LIKE MYSELF AND
WHEN I WAS A STUDENT MANY OF MY
PRECEPTORS TOLD ME THAT THE
BRAIN, THE MAMMALIAN BRAIN WAS
SIMPLY TOO COMPLEX TO STUDY.
UH, WE WERE URGED TO STUDY
SIMPLE ANIMALS SUCH AS THE
LOBSTER OR SIMPLE SYNAPSE SUCH
AS THE NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION.
IF WE WANTED TO GET ANYTHING
APPROACHING HARD ANSWERS, NOW
MANY NEUROSCIENTISTS AND MOST
TELLINGLY OUR VERY BEST
STUDENTS ARE EAGER TO STUDY THE
MAMMALIAN BRAIN.
WHAT'S RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS
CHANGE?
THE NEW OPTIMISM REFLECTS THE
POWERFUL TOOLS THAT WE NOW HAVE.
TOOLS THAT HAVE BEGUN TO
APPROACH THE BRAIN AND ALL OF
ITS COMPLEXITY.
THESE INCLUDE...

A slate reads "Tools of modern neuroscience: Molecular biology, genetics, biophysics, imaging, computation, behavioral and cognitive science."

Zach continues MOST IMPORTANTLY, THESE TOOLS
REPRESENTING MANY DIFFERENT
DISCIPLINES ARE OFTEN USED
TOGETHER IN BIOLOGICAL
INVESTIGATIONS IN PARTICULAR
PROBLEMS.
FOR EXAMPLE, ONE CAN USE
GENETIC METHODS TO KNOCK UH, A
PARTICULAR GENE OUT.
TO DELETE A PARTICULAR GENE IN
AN ANIMAL SUCH AS A MOUSE.
THE EFFECT OF THIS DELETION ON
THE SYNAPTIC RESPONSES IN THESE
ANIMALS CAN BE INVESTIGATED
WITH ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL
TECHNIQUES AND THE EFFECTS ON
BEHAVIOUR CAN BE TESTED IN A
DIFFERENT SET OF EXPERIMENTS
THUS IT'S POSSIBLE TO LINK
MOLECULAR, CELLULAR UH, SYSTEMS
AND BEHAVIOURAL LEVELS OF
UNDERSTANDING OF BRAIN FUNCTION
WITHIN A SINGLE EXPERIMENT.
NOW OUT OF THIS LIST OF
IMPORTANT TECHNOLOGIES LET ME
DRAW ATTENTION TO TWO THAT HAVE
BEEN ESPECIALLY POWERFUL
GENETICS AND IMAGING.
DURING MY SCIENTIFIC LIFETIME
THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY EVENT
HAS BEEN OUR PROGRESS IN
GENETICS.
UH, WHEN I WAS... I WAS A
GRADUATE STUDENT ACTUALLY AT
THE TIME THE GENETIC CODE WAS
DISCOVERED AND SINCE THAT TIME
WE'VE SEEN REMARKABLE PROGRESS
CULMINATING IN THE COMPLETION
OF THE FINISHED HUMAN GENOME SEQUENCE...

A picture pops up that shows two men in their fifties shaking hands.

Zach continues UM, HERE WE SEE
FRANCIS COLLINS AND CRAIG
VITNER IN AN UNUSUAL COLLEGIAL
MOMENT UH, CONGRATULATING EACH
OTHER AT THE TIME OF THE WHITE
HOUSE ANNOUNCEMENT UH, AND I
THINK IT WAS SEVERAL YEARS AGO.
GENETICS HAS TRANSFORMED EVERY
FIELD THAT IT HAS TOUCHED BUT
PARTICULARLY THE NERVOUS
SYSTEM.
MOST EXCITING HAS BEEN THE
GENETIC STUDIES OF BRAIN
DISEASES WHICH HAVE LED US TO
GENES THAT ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR
THESE DISEASES OR FOR AN
INCREASED PREDISPOSITION TO
THEM.
UM, AS SHOWN BRILLIANTLY FOR
EXAMPLE BY PETER HISLOP AND HIS
COLLEAGUES AND THEIR
INVESTIGATIONS OF ALZHEIMER'S
DISEASE BUT ALSO WE ARE NOW
BEGINNING TO GET SOME INSIGHT
INTO BEHAVIOURAL DISORDERS OF
THE NERVOUS SYSTEM, OBSESSIVE
COMPULSIVE DISORDER, DEPRESSION
AND OTHERS.
NOW BECAUSE WE CAN MOVE THESE
GENES INTO SIMPLE ORGANISMS
SUCH AS THE MOUSE OR THE FLY OR
THE WORM, WE CAN MAKE ANIMAL
MODELS OF MANY OF THESE
DISEASES.
THESE ARE POWERFUL TOOLS FOR
INVESTIGATING PATHOPHYSIOLOGY
AND ALSO ALLOW US TO TEST
THERAPIES FOR THESE DISEASES.
MORE GENERALLY BEYOND THE
DISEASE PROCESSES, WE'RE
BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THE
GENETIC BASIS FOR MANY TYPES OF
NORMAL BEHAVIOUR OF PRODUCT...
A TOPIC TO WHICH I WILL RETURN.
SECOND, LET ME SAY A WORD ABOUT
BRAIN IMAGING.
MRI, FMRI, AND UH, P OR
POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY.

A slate pops up that reads "Brain imaging allows us to see the functioning human brain. Non-invasive, identifies active brain areas, can be used to study unique human qualities such as language and thought, new diagnostic tests for brain disease.

Zach continues THESE HAVE HAD EXTRAORDINARY
IMPACT ON BRAIN RESEARCH.
THE METHODS ARE SAFE AND NON-
EVASIVE WHICH MEANS THEY CAN BE
USED ON HUMANS.
THEY ALLOW US PARTICULAR FMRI
AND PET TO LOOK NOT ONLY AT THE
STRUCTURE OF THE BRAIN BUT ALSO
TO LOOK AT ACTIVITY IN THE
BRAIN.
THAT IS, WE CAN TELL WHICH
PARTS OF THE BRAIN ARE ACTIVE
OR UNDER DIFFERENT PARTICULAR
CIRCUMSTANCES.
WE CAN THUS LITERALLY WATCH THE
BRAIN AT WORK UNDER A VARIETY
OF CONDITIONS.

An image pops up showing four coloured images of a human brain next to a rainbow colour scale that goes from dark purple to red.

Zach continues THIS SHOWS ONE OF THE CLASSIC
STUDIES IN THE FIELD.
FIGURES FROM MARCUS RAGLE
LOOKING AT UM, WHICH PARTS OF
THE BRAIN ARE ACTIVATED BY
DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE.
THESE ARE USING PET, THIS
PARTICULAR ONES AND THE SLIDE
SHOWS THE DIFFERENT REGIONS OF
THE BRAIN ARE ACTIVATED WHEN WE
SPEAK WORDS, WHEN WE HEAR WORDS
OR MOST AMAZINGLY TO ME WHEN WE
THINK OF WORDS.
WE CAN THUS LITERALLY OBTAIN AN
IMAGE THAT IS RELATED TO OUR
INTERNAL LIVES.
NOW NEEDLESS TO SAY IMAGING IS
BEING APPLIED TO A WIDE RANGE
OF NATURAL AND EXPERIMENTAL
BEHAVIOURS, I'LL LIST SOME OF
THOSE A LITTLE BIT LATER AND
HAS BECOME AN INDISPENSABLE
TOOL NOT ONLY OF MODERN
MEDICINE BUT ALSO OF MODERN
PSYCHOLOGY.
NOW USING THESE AND OTHER TOOLS
WE'VE MADE ACTIVE PROGRESS IN
UNDERSTANDING A MOLECULAR BASIS
OF NEURAL SIGNALLY.
WE MADE A STRONG BEGINNING
UNDERSTANDING HOW THE NERVOUS
SYSTEM DEVELOPS.

A slate reads "What have we learned? Molecular basis of neuronal signaling, new understanding of brain development, cellular basis of neural plasticity, a beginning in understanding brain circuits."

Zach continues WE HAVE SOME UNDERSTANDING OF
MECHANISMS OF SYNAPTIC
PLASTICITY, THE UNDERLYING
LEARNING AND MEMORY AND WE HAVE
SOME BEGINNING IN
UNDERSTANDING BRAIN CIRCUITS
THAT UNDERLIE COMPLEX
BEHAVIOURS SUCH AS EATING, UH,
AND OTHERS.
ONE OF OUR MOST IMPORTANT
DISCOVERIES UH, HAS BEEN A
BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF HOW
EXPERIENCE SHAPES NEURAL
CIRCUITRY NOT ONLY IN THE
DEVELOPING BRAIN BUT ALSO IN
THE ADULT BRAIN AND I'LL RETURN
TO THIS TOPIC IN JUST A FEW
MOMENTS.
WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS FOR THE
FUTURE?
LET ME BRIEFLY HIGHLIGHT THREE
MAJOR AREAS.

A slate reads "Future directions."

Zach reads from the slate and says
THE FIRST IS THAT WE WILL BEGIN
TO COME TO TERMS WITH THE
GENETIC COMPLEXITY OF THE BRAIN
THROUGH LARGE SCALE APPROACHES
TO GENOMICS AND PROTEOMICS IN
WHICH WE UH, HAVE MAPPED
LITERALLY WHICH TELL US WHICH
OF THE 30,000 GENES ARE BEING
EXPRESSED AND WHICH CELLS AT
PARTICULAR PLACES IN THE
NERVOUS SYSTEM AND AT
PARTICULAR TIMES DURING
DEVELOPMENT.
OBVIOUSLY A MASSIVE TASK BUT
ONE THAT MAY BE APPROACHABLE
THROUGH THE LARGE SCALE, LARGE
THROUGH PUT METHODS THAT MANY
PEOPLE ARE BEGINNING TO USE.
THE SECOND AREA THAT I THINK IS
GOING TO BE PARTICULARLY
EXCITING WILL BE TO DEVELOP
REMEDIES TO NEUROLOGICAL AND
PSYCHIATRIC DISEASE.
AS I HAVE INDICATED, PARTLY
THROUGH WORK AT THE UNIVERSITY
OF TORONTO WE ARE BEGINNING TO
UNDERSTAND THE BIOLOGICAL BASIS
OF ALZHEIMER'S AND OTHER
NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES AND
I THINK WE WILL SOON DO SO FOR
MANY PSYCHIATRIC DISEASES.
THIS WORK WILL LEAD TO NEW
THERAPIES AND NEW MODES OF
TREATMENT FOR DISEASES THAT
HAVE BEEN ESSENTIALLY
UNTREATABLE.
ALZHEIMER'S, PARKINSON'S, ALS,
UH, STROKE, UH, WE CAN OFFER
PATIENTS OF THESE DISORDERS
ALMOST NOTHING AND FOR PATIENTS
WITH SEVERE PSYCHIATRIC
DISORDERS WE HAVE SOME REMEDIES
BUT THEY ARE QUITE INADEQUATE.
I THINK WE... THOSE ARE GOING
TO CHANGE IN THE NEXT 25 YEARS
AND IT WILL BE TREMENDOUSLY
EXCITING FOR US.
UH, THESE CHANGES WILL HAVE
SOME IMPLICATIONS FOR ETHICAL
PROBLEMS AS I'LL TALK ABOUT A
LITTLE BIT LATER.
NOW THE THIRD MAJOR ADVANCE AND
THIS IS THE ONE I REALLY WANT
TO EMPHASIZE AND WHICH I
BELIEVE LIES AT THE HEART OF
OUR DISCUSSION OF NEUROETHICS
WILL BE THE EMERGENCE OF WHAT
WE MIGHT CALL A NEW BIOLOGY OF
BEHAVIOUR.
NEUROSCIENCE WILL INCREASINGLY
ADDRESS QUESTIONS THAT HAVE
TRADITIONALLY BEEN IN THE REALM
AND PURVIEW OF PSYCHOLOGY AND
PHILOSOPHY.
AND AS WE TACKLE THESE AND MOVE
INTO THESE AREAS WE WILL
INCREASINGLY NEED THE
COLLABORATION OF OUR COLLEAGUES
ACROSS THESE BROAD AREAS.
WE WILL INCREASINGLY UNDERSTAND
THE BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF A
VARIETY
OF HUMAN BEHAVIOURS UM, OUR
SOCIAL, SEXUAL AND PARENTAL
BEHAVIOURS, DRUG ADDICTION,
VIOLENCE, HOW WE MAKE
DECISIONS.
WE WILL EVEN LEARN ABOUT SUCH
SENSITIVE MATTERS AS OUR
RELIGIOUS LIFE AND OUR ABILITY
TO MAKE ETHICAL CHOICES.
OVER THE LAST FEW DECADES THERE
HAS BEEN A GROWING ACCEPTANCE
OF THE IDEA THAT OUR BIOLOGICAL
BRAIN REALLY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR
OUR BEHAVIOUR, FOR OUR... MANY
OF OUR PERSONALITY TRAITS AND
FOR WHAT WE OR OUR PARENTS OR
GRANDPARENTS MIGHT HAVE CALLED
THOSE TRAITS THAT GIVE US
CHARACTER, OUR LOYALTY, OUR
ALTRUISM, OUR ABILITY TO JUST
SAY NO, NANCY REAGAN'S FAMOUS
PHRASE.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN OVER THE NEXT
FEW DECADES WILL BE THAT WE
WILL NOT ONLY UNDERSTAND THAT
THESE ACTIVITIES ARE BASED IN
THE BRAIN BUT WE WILL BEGIN TO
HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE
DETAILED MECHANISMS BY WHICH
THE BRAIN PRODUCES THESE
BEHAVIOURS.
THIS UNDERSTANDING WILL GIVE US
TREMENDOUS POWER, UH, TO UH,
FOR DISEASE AND FOR
THERAPEUTICS UM, IT WILL ALSO
GIVE US THE POWER TO MANIPULATE
THE BRAIN IN WAYS UH, THAT UH,
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT AND IT IS
THESE IMPLICATIONS THAT I WILL
EMPHASIZE LATER IN THE TALK.
NOW BEFORE WE DO THIS I'D LIKE
TO GIVE YOU A FLAVOUR OF WHAT
IT IS THAT THE NEW BIOLOGY OF
BEHAVIOUR WILL BRING, WHAT OUR
UNDERSTANDING IS AND ALSO I
WANNA SAY BRIEFLY WHAT OUR
UNDERSTANDING IS NOT.
UM, AS A... THE RESULT OF THE
NEW GENETICS WE HAVE INCREASING
OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE
GENETIC DETERMINANCE OF
BEHAVIOUR AND THIS REALLY BEGAN
WITH THE OLD GENETICS AS IT
WERE BY UH, A SERIES OF STUDIES
IN THE 1960's BY SEYMOUR KEDDY
AND HIS STUDIES ON SCANDINAVIAN
TWINS WHICH SHOWED WITHOUT A
DOUBT THAT SCHIZOPHRENIA AND
MANIC DEPRESSIVE ILLNESS HAD A
LONG... HAD A LARGE GENETIC
COMPONENT.
AND THESE WERE CLASSICAL
STUDIES, TAKING ADVANTAGE OF
THE, UH, DETAILED AND COMPLETE
FAMILY REGISTRIES OF THE
SCANDINAVIAN HEALTH CENTRE AND
WHAT THEY DID WAS TO LOOK AT
TWINS THAT WERE RAISED TOGETHER
OR RAISED APART AND IT WAS VERY
CLEAR FROM THESE STUDIES THAT
UM, THERE WAS A HIGHER
PREVALENCE OF SCHIZOPHRENIA
AMONG TWINS EVEN IF THEY HAD
BEEN RAISED APART IN VERY
DIFFERENT SORTS OF
CIRCUMSTANCES.
THIS THEN LED TO THE MODERN
VIEW THAT THESE DISEASES HAVE
BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS AND ARE NOT
THE RESULT SIMPLY OF REJECTING
MOTHERS OR OF A DISEASED
SOCIETY.
AND WE NOW KNOW THAT A WIDE
RANGE OF ABERRANT BEHAVIOURS
RANGING FROM DRUG AND ALCOHOL
ADDICTION TO OBSESSIVE
COMPULSIVE DISORDER TO AUTISM
HAVE STRONG GENETIC COMPONENTS.
INTERESTINGLY GENETIC STUDIES
IN SIMPLE ORGANISMS HAVE SHOWN
THAT MANY OF OUR NORMAL
BEHAVIOURS INCLUDING SEXUAL
BEHAVIOUR, AGGRESSIVE
BEHAVIOUR, CURIOSITY AND NOVEL
SEEKING AMONG MANY OTHERS CAN
BE MODIFIED IN SIGNIFICANT WAYS
BY KNOWN GENETIC ALTERATIONS
AND THIS JUST LISTS SOME OF
THEM AND BASICALLY MANY OF
THESE HAVE ARISEN QUITE BY
ACCIDENT, THAT IS SCIENTISTS
ARE STUDYING A PARTICULAR GENE
AS IN THE CASE OF THE
TRANSGRESSION FACTOR UH... AND
NOT PUT MY EYES OUT HERE.
HERE WE GO.
UM, AND SO THE STANDARD THING
THAT YOU DO IF YOU'RE STUDYING
A GENE LIKE THIS IS WHAT IS ITS
BIOLOGICAL ROLE SO YOU PRODUCE
A MOUSE IN WHICH THE GENE IS
KNOCKED OUT AND WHAT YOU FIND
IS THAT UH, WELL, THEY FOUND IN
THIS CASE WAS THAT THEY HAD A
HARD TIME BREEDING THESE MICE.
THEY DIDN'T SURVIVE VERY WELL.
CLOSER EXAMINATION REVEALED
THAT THE REASON THAT THEY
DIDN'T SURVIVE WAS BECAUSE THE
MOTHERS PAID ABSOLUTELY NO
ATTENTION TO THEM.
THERE WERE MOTHERS NORMALLY IN
THE CAGE PULL THEIR PUPS IN,
LOOK AFTER THEM UH, URGE THEM
TO EAT, THESE MOTHERS PAID NO
ATTENTION AT ALL.
WALKED ACROSS THEIR INFANTS
WITHOUT APPEARING TO RECOGNIZE
THEM.
SO A NUMBER OF THESE ACCIDENTAL
DISCOVERIES BEGIN TO GIVE US
INSIGHT INTO SOME OF THESE
BEHAVIOURS AND FORM STARTING
POINTS FOR THEM.
I WANNA MENTION THE LAST ONE
BECAUSE IT'S A PARTICULAR
FAVOURITE OF MINE, THESE ARE
STUDIES CARRIED OUT BY A
COLLEAGUE OF MINE AT UCSF NAMED
COREY BARGMANN AND THEY INVOLVE
A SIMPLE ROUND WORM CALLED
CAENORHABDITIS, C-ELEGANS AS
IT'S CALLED.
THIS IS ONE OF THE FAVOURITE
BIOLOGICAL PREPARATIONS UH,
MODEL ANIMAL SYSTEMS UH, ALONG
WITH GRISOFOLA AND ZEBRA FISH
AND MICE THAT PEOPLE USE IN
GENETIC STUDIES THESE DAYS.
NOW THESE ROUND WORMS ARE FOUND
COMMONLY IN OUR GARDENS,
THEY'RE WIDELY DISTRIBUTED AND
IT TURNS OUT IF YOU LOOK A
SERIES GATHERED FROM ACROSS THE
WORLD THEY HAVE ONE OR TWO...
ONE OF TWO BEHAVIOURS IN TERMS
OF THEIR EATING BEHAVIOUR.
IF WE WERE TO GO OUT HERE IN
TORONTO INTO SOMEBODY'S
BACKYARD AND DIG UP SOME WORMS,
PUT THEM ON A PLATE OF BACTERIA
AND WATCH HOW THEY EAT WE WOULD
FIND EITHER THAT THEY EAT ALONE
AS SHOWN IN THIS SLIDE HERE OR
THEY EAT IN GROUPS AS SHOWN HERE.

A slide shows two pictures. In one, several worms are spread out a small area and in the other, they are all bunched up.

Zach continues NOW IT'S UNDOUBTEDLY OF GREAT
CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE THAT IN
THIS CASE THESE PARTICULAR
WORMS HAPPEN TO COME FROM
BRITAIN, FROM ENGLAND AND THESE
FROM AUSTRALIA.

[Laughter]

Zach continues THE AMAZING POINT
HOWEVER IS THAT THESE ARE
RELATED BY A SINGLE MUTATION,
THESE BEHAVIOURS AND IF IN FACT
IT IS A SINGLE UH, BASE CHANGE
WHICH RESULTS IN A SINGLE AMINO
ACID CHANGE IN A PARTICULAR
PROTEIN AND IF YOU MAKE THAT
MUTATION... CHANGE THE
MUTATION YOU CAN ABSOLUTELY
CHANGE THE BEHAVIOUR.
OF FURTHER INTEREST IS THE FACT
THAT THE PROTEIN ENCODED BY
THIS GENE IS A RECEPTOR FOR A
PROTEIN THAT IS KNOWN TO BE
INVOLVED IN THE FEEDING
BEHAVIOUR CIRCUITS IN MAMMALS.
AND I FIND THIS RESULT
ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING.
NOW OBVIOUSLY UH, FIRST OF ALL,
IN HUMANS EATING IS AN
INTENSELY SOCIAL ACTIVITY.
WE EAT WITH OUR FRIENDS, WE EAT
WITH OUR FAMILIES, WE EAT AT
TIMES OF CELEBRATION, WE EAT AT
TIMES OF SORROW, WE GATHER
TOGETHER IN GROUPS TO DO THIS,
UM, AND THESE RESULTS SUGGEST
WE DO THIS NOT OUT OF SOME
CUSTOM OR OUT OF SOME LONG
ESTABLISHED TRADITION UH, BUT
BECAUSE WE'RE BIOLOGICALLY
DRIVEN TO DO SO.
NOW I DON'T BELIEVE IN HUMANS
THAT IT'S THE RESULT OF A
SINGLE GENE MUTATION THAT MAKES
US DO THIS OR NOT DO THIS,
STILL IT EMPHASIZES THE POINT I
THINK THAT THERE IS A STRONG
BIOLOGICAL DETERMINANT HERE AND
THAT IT ALMOST UNDOUBTEDLY IS
AT PLAY IN OUR OWN BEHAVIOUR AS
WELL IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF WORMS.
NOW UM...
THIS EXAMPLE THEN LEADS TO THE
NEXT POINT WHICH IS THE GROWING
AWARENESS THAT OUR UM,
BEHAVIOUR HAS ITS ROOTS IN EVOLUTION.
AND THUS IN BIOLOGY ONE OF T
MAJOR INSIGHTS AND TOOLS OF
MODERN BIOLOGY HAS BEEN OUR
UNDERSTANDING OF HOW
CONSERVATIVE EVOLUTION IS THUS
EVOLUTIONARY ADVANCE IN GENERAL
DOES NOT OCCUR THROUGH THE
CREATION OF NEW MECHANISMS OR
NEW PATHWAYS BUT UM, NATURE
PICKS UP WHAT IS AT HAND AND
USES IT AND MODIFIES IT IN A
WAY TO MAKE IT CARRY OUT THE
UH, NEW FUNCTIONS AND THE NEW
ORGANISM.
NOW THIS HAS BEEN AN ENORMOUS
BOOM TO BIOLOGISTS BECAUSE IT
MEANS THAT BY STUDYING
PROCESSES IN LOWER ANIMALS WE
GET INSIGHT INTO WHAT HAPPENS
IN HIGHER ANIMALS AND I THINK
THESE HAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR
BEHAVIOUR.
LET ME JUST GIVE YOU ONE NON-
BEHAVIOURAL EXAMPLE FROM
DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY UH, OUR
BODY PLANS AND BODY SHAPES DO
NOT RESEMBLE IN ANY UH,
DETAILED WAY THOSE FOUND IN
FRUIT FLIES.
YES, WE'RE BILATERAL AND
SYMMETRICAL BUT BEYOND THAT
THERE'S NOT MUCH YOU CAN SAY.
WE HAVE A FRONT AND WE HAVE A
BACK HOWEVER IT TURNS OUT THAT
THE SAME GENES THAT CONTROL THE
DEVELOPMENT OF THE BODY IN
FRUIT FLIES HAVE... ARE CLOSELY
RELATED OR HAVE CLOSE RELATIVES
IN OUR OWN GENOMES THAT CARRY
OUR VERY SIMILAR FUNCTIONS IN
MAMMALS AND SO BY LOOKING FOR... TO THESE GENES AND MAMMALS
WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO UNCOVER
THEN THE RULES WHICH OUR BODY
SHAPES ARE FORMED AND THE
GENERAL RULES I MIGHT SAY ARE
THE SAME AND THE TOOLS ARE THE
SAME WITH SLIGHT MODIFICATIONS.
OBVIOUSLY IMPORTANT ONES SINCE
WE DON'T END UP LOOKING LIKE
FRUIT FLIES BUT THE PROCESS IS
THE SAME AND I THINK WE CAN SAY
TO OURSELVES WHY SHOULD
BEHAVIOUR BE ANY DIFFERENT?
NEUROSCIENTISTS ARE NOW
STUDYING THE GENETIC BASIS OF
SLEEP, AGGRESSION, MATING
BEHAVIOUR IN SIMPLE ANIMALS,
POLYGAMY VERSUS MONOGAMY FOR
EXAMPLE.
WITH EVERY CONFIDENCE THAT
THESE STUDIES WILL LEAD US TO
IMPORTANT INSIGHTS INTO HUMANS.
UM, THERE'S BEEN MUCH MADE OF
SOME RECENT STUDIES IN MONKEYS
FOR INSTANCE DEMONSTRATING THAT
THEY SEEM TO HAVE A SENSE OF
FAIRNESS AND THAT THEY WILL
REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE IN A
PROTOCOL IN WHICH THEY PERCEIVE
THE REWARDS TO BE DISTRIBUTED
IN AN UNFAIR WAY.
SURELY A PRECURSOR OF OUR OWN
FEELINGS IN THIS DIRECTION.
NOW IN PARALLEL TO STUDIES ON
ANIMALS, PSYCHOLOGISTS
INTERESTED IN HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
HAVE COME UP TO AN INCREASINGLY
BROAD CONSENSUS IN SUPPORT OF
AN IDEA THAT WAS ORIGINALLY AND
STRONGLY ADVANCED BY DARWIN
NAMELY THAT MANY ASPECT OF OUR
BEHAVIOUR ARE SHAPED BY
EVOLUTIONARY FORCES.
UM, THIS HAS BECOME PRACTICALLY
A COTTAGE INDUSTRY NOW TO THINK
ABOUT HOW OUR OWN BEHAVIOUR
COULD'VE BEEN UH, EVOLUTIONARY
ADAPTIVE AT SOME EARLIER TIME
IN OUR HISTORY AND THE ANALYSIS
HAS BEEN APPLIED MOST
NOTORIOUSLY AT LEAST IN THE
POPULAR PRESS TO OUR SEXUAL
BEHAVIOUR.
THAT IS WHY MEN AND WOMAN ARE
DIFFERENT BUT THERE HAVE BEEN
ALSO STUDIES OF ALTRUISMS AND
THE HUMAN NOTIONS OF FAIRNESS.
NOW SINCE EVOLUTION ACTS
THROUGH GENE SELECTION, THE
IMPLICIT MESSAGE ABOUT
EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY IS THAT
OUR BEHAVIOUR HAS STRONG
GENETIC ENHANCED BIOLOGICAL
DETERMINANTS.
NOW THE THIRD LEG OF OUR
UNDERSTANDING OF UM, THE BRAIN
AND ITS BEHAVIOUR COMES FROM
NEUROSCIENCE.
MY GENERATION OF
NEUROSCIENTISTS WAS BROUGHT UP
TO BELIEVE THAT THE ADULT BRAIN
WAS MORE OR LESS IMMUTABLE.
NO NEW CELLS COULD BE GENERATED
AND THE HARD WIRING WAS FIXED.
WE KNEW THROUGH THE WORK OF
HUBBELL, VASSAL AND OTHERS THAT
THE DEVELOPING BRAIN WAS
INFLUENCED BY EXPERIENCE BUT WE
THOUGHT NOT THE ADULT BRAIN.
AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
INSIGHTS OF THE LAST SEVERAL
DECADES HAS BEEN THAT THE ADULT
BRAIN HAS MUCH MORE PLASTICITY
THAN WE HAD IMAGINED.
FIRST OF ALL THEY ARE LIMITED
BUT VERY REAL POWERS OF
NEUROGENESIS IN THE ADULT
BRAIN.
UM, THERE ARE SEVERAL REGIONS
OF THE BRAIN, THE HYPOSTASIS
AND THE OLD FACTORY SYSTEM
BEING TWO OF THEM IN WHICH NEW
NEURONS CAN BE BORN BY DIVISION
OF INTRINSIC STEM CELLS.
IN FACT, THERE'S EVEN SOME
INTRIGUING EVIDENCE THAT ANTI-
PSYCHOTIC DRUGS MAY WORK
THROUGH STIMULATING THE VISION
OF THESE CELLS.
MOREOVER THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT
IN SOME TYPES OF INJURY THESE
NEWLY FORMED PRECURSORS CAN
MIGRATE TO DAMAGED AREAS OF
REPAIR SO THIS IS TREMENDOUSLY
INTERESTING IN TERMS OF
THERAPY.
SECONDLY, THERE IS MUCH MORE
CAPACITY FOR EXPERIENCE TO
INFLUENCE THE FUNCTIONAL
ORGANIZATION OF THE BRAIN THAN
WE HAD REALIZED AND THIS WAS
REALLY BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION
THROUGH A SERIES OF REMARKABLE
EXPERIMENTS ON MONKEYS CARRIED
OUT BY MICHAEL MERZNIC OF UCSF
AND JOHN CASS OF VANDERBILT
UNIVERSITY AND I WANNA JUST
TELL YOU ABOUT THOSE
EXPERIMENTS VERY BRIEFLY.
UH, YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE
IDEA THAT THERE ARE IN THE
MONKEYS CORTEX AS IN OURS UH,
CELLS THAT RESPOND TO DISCREET
AREAS ON THE BODY SURFACE.

A series of coloured drawings show areas in the human hand that correspond with areas in the brain cortex.

Zach continues THAT IS IF YOU STIMULATE THE
HAND OR THE ARM OR THE BACK OR
THE TRUNK THEN A SPECIFIC GROUP
OF CELLS WILL BE ACTIVATED IN
THE CORTEX AND YOU CAN UH,
IDENTIFY THOSE CELLS BY THE
REGION OF THE BODY TO WHICH
THEY RESPOND.
THIS IS CALLED THE FIELD,
SENSORY FIELD OF THESE CELLS.
INTERESTINGLY THEY ARE ARRANGED
IN A MANNER OF SUCH THAT
CONTIGUOUS PARTS OF THE BODY
SURFACE ARE REPRESENTED IN A
CONTIGUOUS WAY ON THE CORTEX
AND ALTHOUGH THIS FIGURE
DOESN'T SHOW IT, IT'S VERY
COMMON IN NEUROANATOMY
TEXTBOOKS TO SEE A SORT OF
HOMUNCULUS UH, UH, OF A BODY
IMAGE THERE.
SOME AREAS SUCH AS THE TIPS OF
OUR FINGERS HAVE A VERY LARGE
REPRESENTATION, OTHER AREAS
SUCH AS THE MIDDLE OF OUR BACKS
HAVE RELATIVELY LITTLE.
NOW WHAT MERZNIC AND HIS
COLLEAGUES FOUND WAS THAT IF
THEY LOOKED AT THE FIVE DIGITS
IN REPRESENTATION, I'M SORRY
FOR THE QUALITY OF THESE
FIGURES, BUT IF I'VE GOT IT
RIGHT THIS IS DIGIT ONE, TWO,
THREE, FOUR, FIVE AS SHOWN
HERE, ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR,
FIVE AND WHAT HAPPENED THEY ASK
IF YOU AMPUTATED ONE FINGER UH,
OF THE UH, ANIMAL AND WHAT YOU
MIGHT EXPECT WAS THAT THERE
WOULD BE A HOLE IN THE UH,
REPRESENTATION ON THE CORTEX.
IN FACT, THERE ISN'T A HOLE AND
SENSORY INPUT FROM EACH OF THE
TWO ADJACENT FINGERS AND
MIGRATES INTO THIS FIELD AND
TAKES IT OVER.
THEY FOUND AMPUTATION WASN'T
NECESSARY, IN FACT, ALL YOU HAD
TO DO WAS STOP THE NERVE
IMPULSES COMING FROM THAT
FINGER AND THE EXACTLY SAME
THING WOULD HAPPEN AND THIS LED
TO THE IDEA THEN THAT THERE WAS
SOME SORT OF ACTIVITY DEPENDANT
REMODELLING OF THE CORTEX IT
WAS CONTINUALLY GOING ON AND
THEY SHOWED THIS MOST
BEAUTIFULLY IN EXPERIMENTS IN
WHICH ANIMALS HAD TO USE DIGITS
NUMBER TWO AND NUMBER THREE
EACH DAY TO GET THEIR FOOD SO
THEY SPENT A LOT OF TIME USING
THESE DIGITS AND AS A RESULT OF
THAT THE UM, AREA OF THE CORTEX
REPRESENTED BY THESE TWO DIGITS
EXPANDED.
SO THIS THEN LED TO THE IDEA
UM, OF A USE DEPENDANT
COMPETITION WITHIN THE NERVOUS
SYSTEM BY WHICH OUR BRAINS ARE
CONTINUALLY BEING REORGANIZED.
THIS FUNCTIONAL PLASTICITY OF
THE ADULT BRAIN IS OF GREAT
INTEREST FROM THE POINT OF
REHABILITATION AFTER STROKE AND
SPINAL CORD INJURY BUT IT'S
ALSO A DIRECT DEMONSTRATION
THAT EXPERIENCE CAN ACTUALLY
CHANGE THE ORGANIZATION OF THE
BRAIN.
NOW LOOKING AT WHAT DIFFERENT
EXPERIENCES DO TO DIFFERENT
PARTS OF THE BRAIN HAS BEEN
CONTINUED BY THOSE DOING FMRI
UH, AND THIS I HAVE INDICATED
BEFORE UH, ONE CAN LOOK AT
PICTURES OF WHAT PARTS OF THE
BRAIN ARE ACTIVATED AND HOW
THESE ARE CHANGED WITH
EXPERIENCE UM, AND THIS
TECHNIQUE IS NOW BEING APPLIED
TO EVERYTHING FROM DRUG
ADDICTION TO ALTRUISTIC GAME
PLAYING TO RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
AND MO RECENTLY I DIDN'T GET
IT ON THIS SLIDE BUT THE SOCIAL
EXCLUSION.

A slide reads "Recent imaging studies on humans. Determination of neural correlates of sexual arousal, deception, religious experience, responses to same-race and other-race faces, moral judgement, emotion, addiction."

Zach continues SOME OF YOU MAY HAVE SEEN A
RECENT ARTICLE IN THE POPULAR
PRESS THAT UH, WHEN SOMEBODY IS
EXCLUDED FROM A GROUP IN SOME
CONTRIVED UH, EXPERIMENTAL
PSYCHOLOGY SITUATION THEN UH,
THE PARTS OF THE BRAIN THAT
REGISTER PAIN BECOME VERY
ACTIVE SO THIS IS SORT OF A
VALIDATION THAT EMOTIONAL PAIN
AND PHYSICAL PAIN HAVE AT LEAST
SOME CONNECTION IN OUR BRAINS.
I WAS JUST AT THE NEUROSCIENCE
MEETING IN NEW ORLEANS AND ALSO
HEARD BILL ROOSEN DESCRIBE WORK
ON MONKEYS UH, AND HE IS
INTERESTED IN IDENTIFYING THOSE
NEURONS THAT CONTROL THE
DECISIONS THAT WE MAKE.
IN HIS CASE PERCEPTUAL DECISIONS
ABOUT WHAT THE WORLD LOOKS LIKE
AND HE IS INTERESTED IN NOT
ONLY IDENTIFYING THESE CELLS
BUT UNDERSTANDING HOW THEY WORK
AND UNDERSTANDING HOW THEIR
ACTIVITY, THE DECISIONS THAT
THEY MAKE IN OTHER WORDS ARE
INFLUENCED BY EXPECTATIONS
BASED ON PAST EXPERIENCE.
SO THE CONCLUSION FROM ALL OF
THESE ARE... IS THAT
EXPERIENCES CHANGE OUR BRAINS
WHETHER WE HAVE A FRIEND, FALL
IN LOVE, SEE A THERAPIST,
SUFFER A TRAGEDY, BELONG TO A
DOMINATE SOCIAL GROUP OR SIT IN
THIS LECTURE OUR BRAINS ARE
CHANGED BY THE EXPERIENCE.
I ACTUALLY EXPECT MASSIVE
REORGANIZATION FROM EACH OF YOU
AS A RESULT OF THIS TALK.
THIS IS WHY CRICK'S STATEMENT
WAS WRONG WE ARE NOT OUR GENES
WE ARE OUR BRAINS SHAPED BY
INFLUENCES THAT ARE BOTH
GENETIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL.
NOW LET ME JUST SUM THIS PART
UP TO SAY...

A slate reads "our brains determine our behavior; the determinants are complex and arise from both genetics and from experience; we will increasingly understand the molecular and neural mechanisms that underlie behavior."

Zach continues NOW AS WE LEARN ABOUT THESE
MECHANISMS WE WILL THEN HAVE
INCREASING POWER THEN TO
MANIPULATE OUR BRAINS UM,
THROUGH PHARMACOLOGY AS WE
DESIGN DRUGS THAT ARE MORE
EFFECTIVE AND MORE SPECIFIC.
THROUGH THE INTRODUCTION OF
GENES OR UH, CELLS, UM, INTO
THE BRAIN, THROUGH SURGERY,
THROUGH NEUROPROSTHESES, THIS
MAY BE LESS FAMILIAR TO MANY OF
YOU UM, BUT THERE ARE VARIOUS
WAYS IN WHICH ONE CAN INFLUENCE
THE BRAIN THROUGH ELECTRICAL
ACTIVITY.
NOW SOME GROUPS OF PARKINSON'S
PATIENTS ARE TREATED BY
IMPLANTING UH, ELECTRODES ON
PARTICULAR PARTS OF THE BRAIN
GIVING CHRONIC STIMULATION.
ONE CAN CHANGE BRAIN ACTIVITY
THROUGH MAGNETIC FIELDS OR IN
AN INCREASINGLY UH, UH, ACTIVE
NEW FIELD BY INTERFACING THE
BRAIN WITH ELECTRONIC DEVICES.
I HAVE COLLEAGUES AT UH, USC MY
NEW INSTITUTION THAT ARE
WORKING WITH AN ARTIFICIAL
RETINA IN WHICH IMAGES ARE
REGISTERED ON A PHOTOSENSITIVE
SURFACE AND THEN THE ELECTRICAL
SIGNALS LED INTO THE
APPROPRIATE PARTS OF THE BRAIN
AND THEY ARE ACTUALLY ABLE IN A
VERY PRIMITIVE WAY TO GIVE
SIGHT TO SOME OF THESE PEOPLE.
OUR INCREASING ABILITY TO
MANIPULATE THE BRAIN GIVES
TREMENDOUS HOPE BUT IT ALSO HAS
TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL FOR MISUSE
AND IT IS THIS THAT I SEE IS
THE MAIN CHALLENGE FOR
NEUROETHICS.
SO I'D LIKE TO TURN NOW TO WHAT
SOME OF THE THESE NEUROETHICAL
PROBLEMS ARE BUT BEFORE WE
EXAMINE THE PROBLEMS I WANT TO
BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT ONE POINT
ABOUT WHICH PEOPLE ARE OFTEN
MISLED.
UM, I AM TALKING ABOUT WHAT I
FORESEE IS THE FUTURE.
OUR PRESENT ABILITIES ARE VERY
LIMITED.
WE CANNOT GIVE A DRUG THAT
CURES SCHIZOPHRENIA OR THAT
MAKES SOMEBODY MORE ETHICAL.
WE DO KNOW HOW TO REWIRE OUR
BRAINS IN STROKE RECOVERY OR TO
MAKE US MORE EFFICIENT LEARNERS
AND WE DO NOT YET KNOW HOW TO
USE NEUROIMAGING TO HELP US
TREAT AUTISM OR TO TELL IF
SOMEBODY IS LYING.
BUT IN THE FUTURE WE WILL KNOW
HOW TO DO SOME OF THESE THINGS
AND WE NEED TO BEGIN THINKING
ABOUT HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM.
WHAT PROBLEMS CAN WE SEE?
UM, THERE ARE ANY NUMBER AND I
HAVE CHOSEN THREE GROUPS OF
PROBLEMS THAT I SEE AS
IMPORTANT.

A slate reads "Neuroethical questions: ethics of science and medicine, enhancement, who are we?"

Zach continues ONE OF THOSE HAVING DO WITH
SCIENCE AND MEDICINE THE
SECOND, UM, THE EVER POPULAR
ENHANCEMENT UH, AND THEN
FINALLY THE QUESTION OF WHO ARE
WE ANYHOW?
NOW... WITH RESPECT TO SCIENCE
AND MEDICINE MANY OF THE ISSUES
THAT ARISE ARE ALREADY FAMILIAR
TO US PARTICULARLY TO THE
ETHICISTS IN THE AUDIENCE
BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT NECESSARILY
SPECIFIC TO THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
BUT ARISE IN OTHER SCIENTIFIC
OR MEDICAL CONTEXT AS WELL SO
WHY SHOULD WE HAVE A
NEUROETHICS IS WHAT THIS ALL
REALLY MEANS AS OPPOSED TO
BIOETHICS.
AREN'T THE QUESTIONS THE SAME?
AND UM, I WOULD SAY THAT THERE
ARE SEVERAL REASONS FOR SAYING
THAT THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL
ABOUT THESE ISSUES AS THEY
APPLY TO THE BRAIN AND THAT
THEY RAISE SPECIAL PROBLEMS
THAT WE NEED TO CONSIDER.

A slate reads "Science and medicine."

Zach reads from the slate and says
THE FIRST IS THAT IN SPITE OF
MY EARLIER COMMENTS THE ABILITY
OF THE BRAIN TO REGENERATE
AFTER DAMAGE IS LIMITED AND ANY
CHANGE THAT IS MADE MAY BE
DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE TO
REVERSE.
THIS IS PARTICULARLY TRUE
BECAUSE OF THE NEXT OR THIS IS
PARTICULARLY SERIOUS I SHOULD
SAY BECAUSE OF THE NEXT
CONSIDERATION AND THAT IS THE
UNIQUE UH, QUALITIES OF BRAIN
FUNCTION, AFTER ALL, UH, OUR
LIVERS ARE IMPORTANT IN THAT
THEY REMOVE TOXIC SUBSTANCES
FROM OUR BLOOD BUT OUR BRAINS
REALLY HAVE TO DO WITH WHO WE
ARE, OUR PERSONAL IDENTITY AND
EVEN SUBTLE CHANGES UH, FROM A
BIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE MAY HAVE
PROFOUND IMPLICATIONS.
WE KNOW THAT IN SOME CASES EVEN
BEHAVIOURAL EXPERIMENTS CAN
ALTER BRAIN FUNCTIONS IN SUCH A
WAY TO HAVE LASTING
CONSEQUENCES.
THERE ARE SEVERAL CASES IN
WHICH EXPERIMENTS ON PREJUDICE
IN GROUPS OF HUMAN SUBJECTS
HAVE HAD SUCH UNPLEASANT
CONSEQUENCES OUTSIDE OF THE
EXPERIMENTAL SITUATION THAT THE
STUDIES WERE STOPPED SO OUR
BRAIN FUNCTIONS ARE BOTH VERY
SUBTLE AND VERY IMPORTANT AND
WE NEED TO TAKE SPECIAL CARE AS
WE TINKER WITH THEM IN THAT
THINGS THAT WE MIGHT THINK
WOULD BE HARMLESS UNDER OTHER
CIRCUMSTANCES NEED TO BE GIVEN
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS WITH
RESPECT TO THE BRAIN.
NOW THE THIRD OF COURSE IS THAT
THE BRAIN IS THE ORGAN OF
JUDGEMENT, UM, GIVING INFORMED
CONSENT FOR AN EXPERIMENT OR
FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT.
ASSUMES THE ABILITY TO MAKE A
RATIONAL DISION BUT A PATIENT
WITH A DAMAGED OR
MALFUNCTIONING BRAIN OFTEN THE
CASE IN NEUROLOGICAL OR
PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS MAY NOT
HAVE THAT CAPACITY.
WHO THEN MAKES A DECISION OF
WHETHER THE PATIENT IS
COMPETENT AND IF THE PATIENT IS
NOT COMPETENT WHO MAKES THE
DECISION ON HIS OR HER BEHALF?
THOSE WHO HAVE HAD A PARENT
WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE MAY BE
PAINFULLY FAMILIAR WITH THIS
DILEMMA.
FOURTH BECAUSE THE BRAIN DEALS
WITH BEHAVIOUR WHICH MAY BE
ABHORRENT OR THREATENING,
SOCIETY HAS A SPECIAL INTEREST
IN IT.
IN SOME CASES WHAT TO DO MAY GO
BEYOND CONSIDERATIONS OF WHAT'S
BEST FOR THE INDIVIDUAL TO
CONSIDERATIONS OF UH, THE
INTEREST OF SOCIETY AT LARGE.
FOR THESE REASONS BOTH IN A
MEDICAL OR EXPERIMENTAL CONTEXT
THE QUESTIONS OF WHAT CAN BE
DONE, WHO GIVES CONSENT AND HOW
THE INFORMATION IS USED BECOME
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
THEIR VALENCE IS RAISED AS IT
WERE BECAUSE THEY CONCERN OUR
PRECIOUS BRAIN FUNCTIONS.
SO WHAT I'D LIKE TO DO IS GIVE
SEVERAL BRIEF EXAMPLES TO
ILLUSTRATE THE PROBLEMS THAT
MAY ARISE UH, THESE ARE
ARBITRARY AND CHOSEN BECAUSE OF
MY OWN INTERESTS I'M SURE MANY
OF YOU COULD SUPPLY OTHER
EXAMPLES BUT I THINK THEY HELP
US THINK ABOUT SOME OF THESE
THINGS.
IT IS WELL KNOWN TO THOSE WHO
TREAT PATIENTS WITH SEVERE
PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS THAT THEY
OFTEN REFUSE TO TAKE THEIR
MEDICATION.
PART OF THE REASON MAY BE DUE
TO SIDE EFFECTS BUT THE REASONS
OFTEN SEEM TO BE MORE SUBTLE
AND MAY BE RELATED TO AN
ALTERED PERCEPTION OF THEIR
ILLNESS.
ONE OF THE STRONGEST DELUSIONS
OF SUCH PATIENTS IS OFTEN THAT
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH
THEM.
IN A RECENT CASE IN THE UNITED
STATES THE ISSUE ROSE OF
WHETHER THE COURTS COULD FORCE
AN ACCUSED PERSON WHO IS
MENTALLY ILL AND HAD STOPPED
TAKING THEIR MEDICATION TO
RESUME TAKING THE MEDICATION SO
THAT THEY WOULD BE QUOTE,
UNQUOTE COMPETENT TO STAND
TRIAL.
IN FACT, MY UNDERSTANDING IS
THAT A PATIENT WAS SO ORDERED
TO DO SO.
NOW RELATED TO THAT IS THE
QUESTION TO WHETHER THEIR
CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH SOMEBODY
CAN BE FORCED TO TAKE
MEDICATION OR HAVE OTHER BRAIN
INTERVENTIONS AND MEDICATION
HERE IS ILLUSTRATIVE.
IN THE INTERESTS OF THE LARGER
BENEFITS OF SOCIETY I WAS AT A
RECENT CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON
ON NEUROETHICS AND THE LAW AND
Dr. CHARLES LEVINE OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
PRESENTED THE FOLLOWING PROBLEM
TO US.
HE IS AN OUTSTANDING, WELL
KNOWN RESEARCHER UH, CLINICAL
RESEARCHER ON ADDICTION AND HE
SAID THERE'S A MEDICATION, A
SLOW RELEASE FORM OF NALOXONE
UH, WHICH BLOCKS THE RECEPTORS
ON WHICH UH, HEROIN AND OTHER
ADDICTING DRUGS ACT AND IN THIS
PARTICULAR FORM THE DRUG CAN BE
GIVEN IN A SINGLE INJECTION
WHICH WILL LAST FROM THREE TO
SIX MONTHS AND DURING THAT
PERIOD OF TIME THERE IS NOTHING
GAINED FOR THE PERSON THAT WHO
TAKES THE DRUG BY ANY EXPOSURE
TO HEROIN OR COCAINE OR OTHER
ADDICTING DRUGS BECAUSE THE
RECEPTOR IS SIMPLY NOT THERE.
I'M SORRY, THIS IS SPECIFIC FOR
HEROIN ADDICTION.
I MISSPOKE.
THE DRUG HAS APPARENTLY BEEN
USED IN EUROPE WHERE IT'S BEEN
SHOWN THAT IT'S AN IMPORTANT
AIDE TO BREAKING THE CYCLE OF
ADDICTION AND IT'S ALSO BEEN
SHOWN THAT THERE ARE... SIDE
EFFECTS WITH LONG USE, LONG-
TERM USE.
THIS IS A TREMENDOUSLY
IMPORTANT QUESTION IN OUR PENAL
SYSTEM.
SOME LARGE PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE
IN PRISONS, I DON'T KNOW THE
PRECISE NUMBER BUT IT IS
STARTLINGLY LARGE ARE THERE FOR
A CRIMES RELATED TO DRUG
ADDICTION AND RECIDIVISM RATE
IS VERY HIGH WHEN PEOPLE LEAVE
PRISON AFTER A PERIOD OF TIME
OF NOT HAVING TAKING DRUGS THE
INSTANCE OF GOING BACK TO DRUG
TAKING IS VERY, VERY HIGH.
SO THE QUESTION ARISES, CAN THE
COURTS SAY TO A PRISONER, WE
WILL RELEASE YOU BUT UH, ONLY
IF YOU WILL TAKE A DOSE OF THIS
DRUG.
UM, THAT MEANS THAT YOU WILL
NOT BE... YOU WILL NOT HAVE
YOUR DRUG TAKING BEHAVIOUR
REINFORCED FOR A PERIOD OF
THREE TO SIX MONTHS.
INTERESTINGLY, THE COURTS IN
THE UNITED STATES ARE VERY
RELUCTANT TO ALLOW THIS AS
THEIR LINK TO RELEASE FROM
PRISON IS SEEN AS A FORM OF
COERCION AND A VIOLATION OF
INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM.
IN THESE SITUATIONS, I THINK
ONE MIGHT ASK HOW THE INTERESTS
OF SOCIETY AND INDIVIDUAL COME
INTO CONFLICT AND THE QUESTION
OF HOW THESE ARE TO BE RESOLVED
IS UH, ONE FOR THOUGHT AND
STUDY.
ACTUALLY, SOMEBODY POINTED OUT
TO ME TODAY UH, PAROLE IS MADE
CONDITIONAL ON OTHER KINDS OF
BEHAVIOURS, WHY NOT ON THIS?
UH, AND THE QUESTION I THINK
THEN ARISES IS WHETHER THERE'S
ANY RISK TO THE BRAIN IN THIS
CASE.
NOW THE SAME QUESTIONS ARISE IN
OTHER CONTEXTS AND ONE OF THE
ONES THAT I WANT TO ADDRESS
SPECIFICALLY IS THAT A BRAIN
SURGERY UM, WHERE SOME OF THE
USUAL PROTECTIONS ARE LACKING,
ACTUALLY, DID NOT REALIZE TILL
I WENT TO THE N.I.H. IN THE
UNITED STATES AT LEAST FDA
APPROVAL IS NOT REQUIRED FOR
SURGICAL PROCEDURES WHICH ARE
LEFT TO THE DISCRETION OF THE
PHYSICIAN.
THE MOST INFAMOUS CASE OF ABUSE
OCCURRED IN THE PERIOD
FOLLOWING WORLD WAR TWO WHEN
LOBOTOMIES WERE CARRIED OUT BY
THE THOUSANDS IN DOCTOR'S
OFFICES.
THESE OPERATIONS WERE
DISCREDITED BUT WERE FOLLOWED
IN THE 60's BY THE APPLICATION
OF PSYCHO SURGERY FOR WHAT WAS
CALLED PATHOLOGICAL AGGRESSION.
THESE SHAMEFUL EPISODES EARNED
A BAD NAME FOR PSYCHO SURGERY
AND SURGERY FOR NON-MEDICAL
CAUSES, QUOTE, UNQUOTE, IS NOW
RARELY CARRIED OUT EXCEPT FOR
EXTREME CASES OF OBSESSIVE
COMPULSIVE DISORDER.
SOME WOULD ARGUE THAT BECAUSE
OF OUR EXPERIENCE WITH LOBOTOMY
WE HAVE OVERREACTED AND UNDULY
STIGMATIZED SURGICAL PROCEDURES
THAT COULD BE POTENTIALLY
USEFUL FOR PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS
BUT THE POINT REMAINS WE STILL
HAVE NO CLEAR CUT WAY OF
DECIDING WHEN AND HOW SURGICAL
PROCEDURES ON THE BRAIN ARE
APPROPRIATE.
AND WE HAVE NO CLEAR CUT
GUIDELINES ON WHO MAKES THESE
DECISIONS.
NOW PSYCHO SURGERY WAS USED IN
THE ONE CASE FOR UH, PATIENTS
WHO WERE DEEMED TO HAVE A
PREDISPOSITION TO AGGRESSION
AND THIS RAISES THE FINAL ISSUE
AND THAT IS ANY SORT OF
INTERVENTION UH, IS PRESUMABLY
BASED ON A PREDICTION OF SOME
SORT OF SOCIALLY UNDESIRABLE
BEHAVIOUR OR MEDICALLY UH,
UNDESIRABLE I GUESS IN THE CASE
OF UH, PREFRONTAL LOBOTOMIES
BUT AT ANY RATE IF THERE WERE
TECHNIQUES THAT COULD PREDICT A
STRONG PREDISPOSITION TO
VIOLENCE OR TO PEDOPHILIA TO
TAKE ANOTHER EXAMPLE.
SITUATIONS IN WHICH ALL OF US
WOULD AGREE THAT BEHAVIOURS ARE
LONG AND ARE DAMAGING.
UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES CAN WE
FORCE PEOPLE TO UNDERGO SUCH
EXAMINATIONS AND HOW WOULD THIS
INFORMATION BE USED?
NOW THE MATTER IS INTERESTING
AS A THEORETICAL ONE IT'S
FURTHER COMPLICATED BY THE FACT
THAT OF COURSE SUCH METHODS OF
PREDICTION OR UH, ARE CRUDE AND
CERTAINLY WILL BE AT THE
BEGINNING AND UH, IN ANY CASE A
PREDICTION OF PREDISPOSITION
DOESN'T PREDICT NECESSARILY THE
EVENT UM, BUT THEY WILL GET
BETTER I'M SURE AND I THINK
THERE WILL BE A TIME WHEN WE
WILL HAVE THOSE KINDS OF
DECISIONS TO MAKE UH, AND AGAIN
THE QUESTION IS WHO DECIDES,
HOW IS SUCH INFORMATION USED
AND HOW DO WE RECONCILE THE
INTERESTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL
WITH THE INTERESTS OF THE
SOCIETY AT LARGE?
NOW LET ME GO TO THE NEXT ISSUE
UM, WHICH IS ONE OF
ENHANCEMENT.
UH, AND THIS IS AN INTERESTING
ONE TO THINK ABOUT, I THINK, AS
WE DEVELOP MORE AND MORE
POWERFUL WAYS OF MANIPULATING
AND ENHANCING BRAIN FUNCTION,
THE POSSIBILITY ARISES OF NOT
USING THEM SIMPLY TO REPLACE OR
RESTORE FUNCTIONS THAT ARE LOST
THROUGH DISEASE OR DAMAGE BUT
RATHER TO QUOTE, UNQUOTE
IMPROVE THE NORMAL FUNCTION OF
THE BRAIN.
SUPPOSE THERE IS A PILL OR AN
ELECTRONIC DEVICE OR AN
OPERATION THAT COULD CHANGE
YOUR BASIC CAPABILITIES OR YOUR
PERSONALITY OR PERHAPS IN A
MORE SINISTER VEIN YOUR
CHARACTER.
A TREATMENT THAT WOULD IMPROVE
YOUR MEMORY, MAKE YOU LESS SHY,
MAKE YOU MORE OR LESS
AGGRESSIVE AND SELFISH IN
DEALING WITH PEOPLE.
IMAGINE IT AS A SORT OF BOTOX
OF THE MIND.

[Laughter]

Zach continues UM, AS YOU KNOW
BOTULINUM TOXIN DESTROYS MOTOR
NERVE ENDINGS AND WAS
ORIGINALLY UM, USED UH, FIRST
KNOWN AS THE CAUSE OF FOOD
POISONING UH, BOTULISM, PEOPLE
BEGAN TO USE LOCAL INJECTIONS
OF BOTULINUM TOXIN TO STOP
UNCONTROLLABLE MUSCLE SPASMS...
BUT IN THE LAST FEW YEARS IT'S
USED FOR MEDICAL TO COSMETIC
USE.
UM, IF YOU PUT BOTOX IN THE
FACIAL MUSCLES YOU CAN ABOLISH
THE SMALL MUSCLE CONTRACTIONS
THAT CAUSE OUR FOREHEADS OR
OTHER PARTS OF OUR FACE TO BE
WRINKLED.
IN L.A. WHERE I NOW WORK
PHYSICAL BEAUTY HAS A HIGH
PREMIUM AND BOTOX PHYSICIANS
WHO SPECIALIZE IN ITS COSMETIC
USE ABOUND.
IN SUITABLY SKILFUL HANDS THE
FACE CAN BE RESCULPTED TO
ACHIEVE MORE SYMMETRY OR OTHER
DESIRED FEATURES.
A SORT OF PHARMACOLOGICAL
PLASTIC SURGERY AND THE PAPERS
ARE ACTUALLY FULL OF ADS UH,
OFFERING BOTOX TREATMENT ALONG
WITH MANY OTHER TREATMENTS UH,
TO UH, TO IMPROVE YOUR PHYSICAL
APPEARANCE.
NOW IT'S NOT TOO MUCH A LEAP OF
THE IMAGINATION TO IMAGINE A
DAY WHEN WE COULD ACTUALLY
PHARMACOLOGICALLY RE-SCULPT OUR
PERSONALITIES IN THE SAME WAY.
TO SNIP OUT A LITTLE BIT OF
TESTINESS HERE AND A LITTLE BIT
OF HUMILITY OR SELF-ESTEEM
THERE TO ACHIEVE A DESIRED
TEMPERAMENT OR PLEASING
PERSONALITY OR MORE INTELLECT.
WORSE, ONE CAN IMAGINE THESE
SERVICES MARKETED COMMERCIALLY
TO RELIEVE INVENTED PATHOLOGIES
CREATED BY COMPANIES.
THERE'S NOW A MARKETING
CAMPAIGN IN THE UNITED STATES
I'M TOLD TO CREATE A CONCERN
ABOUT A MALE INSUFFICIENCY.

[Laughter]

Zach continues AND THE CAMPAIGN
GOES LIKE THIS.
"IS YOUR MEMORY NOT AS GOOD AS
IT WAS?"

[Laughter]

Zach continues "YOUR ENERGY
DECLINING?
YOUR SEX LIFE NOT AS ACTIVE AS
IT WAS?
WHAT AGING MALE IS IMMUNE TO
THOSE QUESTIONS?
YOU MAY HAVE MALE
INSUFFICIENCY."

[Laughter]

Zach continues AND THE PURPOSE
OF THIS CAMPAIGN IS TO CREATE A
MARKET FOR ANDROGENS IN AGING
MALES SIMILAR TO THAT CREATED
FOR HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
FOR POST MENOPAUSAL WOMEN.
NOW ALTHOUGH WE HAVE NO BOTOX
OF THE MIND YET THE QUESTIONS
RAISED ARE NOT REALLY JUST
THEORETICAL.
THERE'S TREMENDOUS INTEREST IN
DRUGS THAT ENHANCE PERFORMANCE
BOTH PHYSICAL AND MENTAL.
UH, ON THE PHYSICAL SIDE WE
CERTAINLY SEE THAT IN THE DAILY
SCANDALS ON THE SPORTS PAGE BUT
ALSO MENTALLY.
AT THE WASHINGTON CONFERENCE
ONE OF THE PROFESSORS FROM THE
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA WHO
TEACHES UH, AN UNDERGRADUATE
COURSE THERE, UM, ON ETHICAL
ISSUES RELATED TO THE BRAIN,
REPORTED THAT ACCORDING TO
THEIR ESTIMATES ABOUT 25 percent OF
STUDENTS IN THE FRESHMAN YEARS
TAKE RITALIN AND A SIMILAR
NUMBER TAKE PROZAC.
ANECDOTALLY I'M TOLD THE COACH
OF A WOMEN'S HOCKEY TEAM IS
SAID TO REMIND HER ATHLETES TO
REMEMBER TO TAKE THEIR RITALIN
BEFORE THE GAME.
NOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH
PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT OR WITH
THESE PERSONALITY ALTERING
PROCEDURES AND THREE ARGUMENTS
HAVE BEEN ADVANCED AGAINST THEM
AS INDICATED IN THE SLIDE.

A slide pops up that reads "Enhancement. Con: dangers to the brain, fairness, religious or philosophical. Pro: our right to the best for ourselves and our children.
Danger of commercial exploitation."

Zach continues FIRST THERE MAY BE EFFECTS OF
LONG-TERM USE AND THESE HAVE
THE SAME CONCERNS ABOUT
EFFECTING THE BRAIN AS I'VE
MENTIONED BEFORE.
UH, MORE SERIOUS THAN PERHAPS
THAN WITH OTHER ORGANS.
THE SECOND ARGUMENT CONCERNS
FAIRNESS.
SUCH TREATMENTS WILL ONLY BE
AVAILABLE TO SOME.
WHETHER FOR ECONOMIC OR
PHILOSOPHICAL REASONS AND UH,
THOSE WHO USE THEM WILL HAVE
UH, AN ADVANTAGE.
THIS AFFIRMS OUR BIOLOGICALLY
BASED UNDOUBTEDLY NOTIONS OF
FAIRNESS AND OF A MERITOCRACY
BASED REWARDS SYSTEM.
IT FURTHER ALSO WILL FURTHER
INCREASE THE UM, GAP BETWEEN
THE HAVE AND HAVE NOTS IN OUR
SOCIETY AS ALMOST CERTAINLY UH,
THESE ENHANCEMENT TREATMENTS
WILL NOT COME CHEAPLY.
ACTUALLY, WE'VE ALREADY SEEN
THIS WITH COMPUTERS,
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT FOR
WHOM ACCESS DEPENDS ENORMOUSLY
ON ECONOMIC UM, CLASS AND
THEREFORE INCREASES THE
DIFFERENCES THAT EXIST IN THE
RESOURCES THAT ARE AVAILABLE.
AND FINALLY, THERE'S WHAT I
LOOSELY REFER TO AS THE
THEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT THAT OUR
BRAINS ARE PRECIOUS WHETHER
THEY'RE VIEWED AS THE CREATION
OF GOD OR AS A SUPREME PRODUCT
OF EONS OF EVOLUTION AND THAT
TO TAMPER WITH THEM IS A
BETRAYAL OF OUR ESSENCE OR WHAT
FRANCIS FUKIYAMA CALLS OUR
HUMAN NATURE.
UM, THAT THIS IS NOT ONLY A
BETRAYAL BUT THIS IS ALSO A
KIND OF HUBRIS ATTEMPTS OF THE
FATES.
ON THE PRO SIDE OF THESE
ARGUMENTS IS THE ARGUMENT
ADVANCED BY OUR CAPLAIN WHO IS
OUR NEUROETHICIST FROM
PENNSYLVANIA ALSO WHO WAS AT
OUR CONFERENCE AND THAT'S
BASICALLY IF I CAN GAIN SOME
SORT OF AN ADVANTAGE IN LIFE
FOR ME OR MY CHILDREN ENHANCING
BRAIN FUNCTION BY WHATEVER
MEANS WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO STOP
ME?
NOW THE INTERESTING THING TO ME
WAS AT OUR MEETING IN SAN
FRANCISCO THIS QUESTION WAS
AMONG THE MOST CONTENTIOUS.
THERE WAS A TREMENDOUS RANGE IN
OPINION ABOUT WHETHER
ENHANCEMENT WAS PROPER OR NOT.
AND IT RAN THE GAMUT OF THE
ISSUES HERE FROM PEOPLE WHO UH,
FELT THAT BRAINS WERE A
CREATION
OF GOD AND WE SHOULD NOT TAMPER
WITH THEM TO THE KIND OF UH,
WILL DO ANYTHING TO MAKE LIFE
BETTER AND THAT'S PART OF OUR
HERITAGE IS OUR SPECIES OF
BEING ABLE TO DO THAT SO I
THINK IT'S VERY CLEAR TO ME
THAT THE QUESTION OF
ENHANCEMENT TOUCHES SOME VERY
DEEPLY HELD VALUES UM, IF
THERE'S THIS MUCH DISAGREEMENT
AMONG A GROUP OF PROFESSIONALS
ALL OF THEM WHO ARE SORT OF
HAVE ROUGHLY THE SAME KNOWLEDGE
LEVEL AND ARE CONCERNED WITH
THE SAME ISSUES JUST IMAGINE IN
A LARGER SOCIETY UH, HOW MUCH
MORE UH, UM, WELL, DIVERSITY OR
HOW MUCH MORE DIVIDED PEOPLE
WILL BE ABOUT THESE ISSUES.
THEY WILL OBVIOUSLY FOR SOME
WILL BE VERY EMOTIONAL.
FOR OTHERS I'LL SAY IT'S A NO
BRAINER.
WE SHOULD JUST GO AHEAD AND DO
IT.

[Laughter]

Zach continues NOW IF WE DECIDE
AS A SOCIETY THAT CERTAIN TYPES
OF ENHANCEMENT ARE NOT
PERMISSIBLE UH, HOW WE SHOULD
WE PLACE THE LIMITS AND WHO
SHOULD DECIDE.
IN OUR OPEN CAPITALISTIC
SOCIETY MARKET FORCES OFTEN
PREDOMINATE AND WE AS A SOCIETY
HAVE A POOR HISTORY OF DEALING
WITH A QUESTION OF HOW TO
REGULATE THE MARKETING OF
PRODUCTS THAT MAY HARM PEOPLE.
SMOKING, ALCOHOL AND MORE
RECENTLY OBESITY PROVIDE
EXAMPLES IN WHICH OUR
INDIVIDUAL BIOLOGICAL DRIVES
COUPLED TO MARKET FORCES HAVE
LARGELY OVERCOME CONSIDERATIONS
OF PUBLIC HEALTH.
IRONICALLY BRAIN RESEARCH
ITSELF WHOSE INSIGHTS ARE BEING
MORE AND MORE USED BY
MARKETERS, GIVING RISE TO THE
FIELD OF NEUROECONOMICS AMONG
OTHERS MAY CONTRIBUTE TO THE
PROBLEM.
THE FOLLOWING IS A PICTURE OF
VOLUNTEERS UH, FROM A FORBES
MAGAZINE ARTICLE RECENTLY UH,
IN WHICH THE REACTIONS OF THEIR
BRAINS ARE BEING TESTED TO
VARIOUS ADVERTISING STIMULI.

A picture shows 6 young women wearing virtual reality goggles.

Zach continues THIS ACTUALLY IS RATHER CRUDE.
UH, ABOUT TWO WEEKS AGO THE NEW
YORK TIMES MAGAZINE SECTION HAD
AN ARTICLE ON MRI STUDIES OF
WHY PEOPLE PREFER COKE TO PEPSI.

[Laughter]

Zach continues EVEN THOUGH THEY
LIKED THE TASTE OF PEPSI
BETTER.
IF THEY'RE TOLD IT'S COKE THEY
UH, CHOOSE COKE OVER PEPSI AND
IT TURNS UP TO LIGHT UP OUR
MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX WHEN
YOU CHOOSE COKE AND KNOW THE
NAME OF IT.
AT ANY RATE ALL THIS SEEMS A
LITTLE FOOLISH BUT IN ACTUAL
FACT IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF
HOW THE REWARD CIRCUITRY IN OUR
BRAINS IS COUPLED TO OUR
CHOICES BOTH ECONOMIC AND
OTHERWISE THE POSSIBILITY OF
MANIPULATING THIS UH, WILL
BECOME MORE REAL AND MORE
THREATENING.
THIS NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE
THAT I MENTIONED HAD THE
HEADLINE THERE'S A SUCKER BORN
IN EVERY REMEDIAL PREFRONTAL
CORTEX UH, JUST WAITING FOR THE
MARKET FORCES TO GET A HOLD OF.
NOW FINALLY, LET ME TURN TO THE
QUESTION OF HOW BRAIN RESEARCH
WILL CHALLENGE OUR IDEAS ABOUT
WHO WE ARE AND ABOUT WHAT IT
MEANS TO BE A HUMAN BEING AND
AGAIN THIS PROBLEM HAS VARIOUS
FACETS BUT LET ME MENTION THREE
OF THEM.
ONE IS WHERE DO WE COME FROM?
AS I INDICATED EARLIER WE'LL
FIND THAT MUCH OF OUR BEHAVIOUR
HAS ITS EVOLUTIONARY AND
MECHANISTIC ROOTS IN ANIMAL
BEHAVIOUR EMPHASIZING OUR
CONTINUITY WITH THE LARGER,
BIOLOGICAL WORLD.
THIS WILL BE DISTURBING TO SOME
AND MAY IN FACT, ALTER OUR
RELATIONSHIP TO THE ANIMAL
WORLD.
AND CERTAINLY MAY CHANGE SOME
OF OUR IDEAS ABOUT WHAT IT
MEANS IN TERMS OF FUNDAMENTAL
CHARACTERISTICS TO BE HUMAN.
[coughing]
THE SECOND QUESTION IS OF
FREEWILL AND RESPONSIBILITY.
THESE QUESTIONS ALWAYS COME UP
AT NEUROETHICS MEETINGS AND AT
DISCUSSIONS.
A COLLEAGUE OF MINE UH, HANK
REELY FROM STANFORD SAYS IN
THESE DISCUSSIONS THAT
NEUROETHICISTS ARE DRAWN TO
THIS QUESTION LIKE MOTHS TO A
FLAME UH, IN ACTUAL FACT I
THINK ALTHOUGH WE'RE FASCINATED
WITH THE QUESTION I THINK
NEUROSCIENCE HAS RELATIVELY
LITTLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO IT AT
LEAST AT THIS POINT.
IT IS CLEAR THAT THE DECISIONS
THAT WE MAKE ARE CONSTRAINED BY
BIOLOGICAL FORCES AND CAN BE
INFLUENCED IN MANY WAYS.
THE ROLE THAT QUOTE, UNQUOTE
FREE CHOICE PLAYS IN OUR
DECISION-MAKING IS NOT ONE THAT
CAN BE ADDRESSED SCIENTIFICALLY
OR EVEN DEFINED UH, FOR MANY
DECADES, CERTAINLY NOT IN THE
FORESEEABLE FUTURE AS FAR AS
I'M CONCERNED SO
WE CAN'T REALLY PROVIDE
ANYTHING NEW TO THE THEORETICAL
ARGUMENTS ON THIS QUESTION AND
AS MANY OF YOU KNOW THE
ARGUMENTS FOR NEITHER STRICT
DETERMINISM NOR INDETERMINISM
ARE ENTIRELY SATISFACTORY.
MY SENSE IS WE CAN ANSWER THE
QUESTION, IN THE MEANTIME WE
MUST ACT.
AND IN FACT, SOMEONE, SOME
WOULD ARGUE THAT WE ARE
PROGRAMMED TO ACT AS IF WE DO
HAVE FREE CHOICES AND WE MUST
TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
FOR THEM IN THE MEANTIME IN
FACT, OUR DISCUSSION ETHICS
TODAY IS PREDICATED ON THE FACT
THAT WE DO HAVE SOME CHOICES TO
MAKE AND WE CAN MAKE THEM.
NOW FINALLY, I THINK WHAT WE'VE
LEARNED ABOUT OURSELVES UH,
WILL HAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR WHAT
I CALL OUR DIVERSITY AS HUMAN
BEINGS UM, AND I BELIEVE AS WE
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR
BEHAVIOURS, THEIR ORIGINS IN
OUR GENES AND IN OUR
EXPERIENCES WE WILL LEARN MORE
ABOUT THE CONSTRAINTS ON OUR
BEHAVIOUR THAT WE ALL HAVE AND
ABOUT THE SOURCES OF OUR
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES NOT JUST
PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES BUT
DIFFERENCES OF PERSONALITY AND
CHARACTER.
JUST AS WE ARE LEARNING FOR
EXAMPLE THAT SMALL GENETIC
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN US
DETERMINE OUR DIFFERENT
SUSCEPTIBILITIES TO VARIOUS
PHYSICAL AND PSYCHIATRIC
DISEASES, WE WILL ALSO LEARN
THAT SMALL GENETIC DIFFERENCES
BETWEEN US THAT ARE SO-CALLED
ALLELIC DIFFERENCES THAT IS,
COMMON GENETIC DIFFERENCES IN
THE POPULATION GIVE US AN
INTERESTING KALEIDOSCOPE OF
PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER
TRAITS.
SOME OF THIS AS MY MOTHER WOULD
SAY IS JUST COMMON SENSE.
WE ALL KNOW THROUGH OUR OWN
EXPERIENCE THAT SOME ARE MORE
ATHLETIC THAN OTHERS OR SMARTER
THAN OTHERS AND THAT SOME ARE
MORE EMPATHETIC OR MORE
RELIGIOUS OR MORE SEXUALLY
PROMISCUOUS OR MORE GREGARIOUS
OR MORE ETHICAL THAN OTHERS.
WHAT I THINK WILL SURPRISE US
AS A SOCIETY IS THE EXTENT TO
WHICH THESE DIFFERENCES ARE
INFLUENCED BY OUR GENETIC
MAKEUP AND BY OUR PAST
EXPERIENCE.
I DON'T MEAN TO IMPLY THAT
THERE'S A SINGLE GENE OR A
SINGLE EXPERIENCE THAT WILL
DETERMINE ANY OF THESE
CHARACTERISTICS NOR THAT WE
WILL UNDERSTAND THE UNDERLYING
CIRCUITRY WITHIN THE NEAR
FUTURE BUT WILL BECOME CLEAR
HOWEVER IS OUR ABILITY TO SHAPE
OUR QUOTE, INVENT OURSELVES IN
THE MODERN TERMINOLOGY AS
PERSONALITIES, AS
PROFESSIONALS, AS CITIZENS, AS
FAMILY MEMBERS, WILL BE LIMITED
BY THE GENETIC ENDOWMENT THAT
EACH OF US HAS AND BY OUR PAST
EXPERIENCES.
IT IS MY HOPE THAT SUCH
KNOWLEDGE WILL MAKE US MORE
COMPASSIONATE, MORE TOLERANT,
MORE FORGIVING OF OURSELVES AND
OTHERS.
LET ME END OR ALMOST END WITH
TWO QUICK THOUGHTS ONE IS I
THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT
AS WE TALK ABOUT THESE
QUESTIONS AND MOVE FORWARD THAT
WE SIMPLY NOT DO SO AS
PROFESSIONALS UH, AND THAT WE
NOT LIMIT THESE DISCUSSIONS TO
UM, THOSE OF US WHO HAVE SOME
PROFESSIONAL INTEREST BUT THAT
WE ENGAGE THE PUBLIC IN DOING
THIS.
WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT
THIS.
NEUROSCIENTISTS SUCH AS MYSELF
OFTEN TALK ABOUT EDUCATING THE
PUBLIC AS IF ONCE WE EXPLAIN
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT HOW THE
BRAIN WORKS AND EVERYBODY WOULD
UNDERSTAND AS WE DO WHAT SHOULD
BE DONE BUT IT IS CLEAR THAT
MANY OF THE ISSUES THAT I HAVE
RAISED TODAY UH, ARE AT THEIR
HEART QUESTIONS THAT DEPEND
DEEPLY ON THE VALUES THAT WE
HOLD BOTH AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS
A SOCIETY.
FOR ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS
WE NEED FACTUAL KNOWLEDGE WHICH
NEUROSCIENTISTS CAN PROVIDE AND
WE NEED CLEAR THINKING WHICH
ETHICISTS CAN OFTEN PROVIDE BUT
THE ANSWERS OF HOW WE TREAT
THESE ISSUES MUST COME FROM A
BROAD SEGMENT OF OUR POPULATION
AS POSSIBLE.
THE SECOND INJUNCTION THAT I
WANT TO URGE IS TO BE WARE THE
DANGERS OF HALF KNOWLEDGE.
THE BRAIN IS COMPLICATED AND
ALTHOUGH WE'LL LEARN MUCH ABOUT
IT, THERE'S STILL MUCH THAT WE
DO NOT KNOW AND WE'LL NEED TO
USE THAT KNOWLEDGE WITH CARE
AND WITH HUMILITY.
UM, I LOOK FORWARD TO THE
CONTINUING DISCUSSIONS IN THESE
AREAS UM, LET ME SAY END WITH
THE WORDS OF THE FAMOUS
PHILOSOPHER AT LEAST ATTRIBUTED
THE FAMOUS PHILOSOPHER GROUCHO
MARX MUCH OF THIS IS A
SPECULATION ABOUT THE FUTURE
AND AS GROUCHO SAYS "IT'S HARD
TO MAKE PREDICTIONS
PARTICULARLY ABOUT THE FUTURE."
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Watch: Zach Hall on Neuroethics: A Challenge for a New Age