‘THINKING ISSUE’: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?. What does it all mean? We are rapidly gaining a much better understanding of the brain and how it operates.

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> THINKING ISSUE: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> What does it all mean? We are rapidly gaining a much better understanding of the brain and how it operates. We are beginning to see how our thought processes and actions are shaped by activity in the brain. This new knowledge is exciting, but presents us with many challenges. And tools and therapies for use in medicine or research could equally well be applied socially for other uses. How are we going to manage these ethical quandaries? </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> Responsible adults? If a lot of our behaviour is outside our conscious control (or feels as if it is), can we always be held responsible for our actions? Legally, courts are more lenient if a defendant can prove diminished responsibility. Sentencing will also depend to some extent on an assessment of a defendants mental health. As we discover more about the links between brain and behaviour, it is likely that this will become a more common issue. </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> Better brains? How should we react to the potential to enhance our brains abilities? Some people fear we are heading towards becoming super-humans, with everyone pressured to enhance themselves. The gaps between the haves and have-nots could widen. And what does it all mean for our view of what it is to be human? On the other hand, the whole point of learning is to expand the mind, and we think nothing of providing extra school or educational activities, or pump children everyone feeling pressured to enhance themselves or their children for fear of full of vitamins to boost their IQ. </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> Hands off my brain Should the contents of the brain be private property? Supporters say that brain scanning could have great use identifying potential paedophiles seeking to work in schools, or helping the police solve crimes. On the other hand, even if they were infallible (and they are not) the meaning of scanning results is open to interpretation. We have instinctive responses but that does not mean we always act on them. </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> Reusing our images Images and illustrations All images, unless otherwise indicated, are from Wellcome Images. Contemporary images are free to use for educational purposes (they have a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No derivatives licence). Please make sure you credit them as we have done on the site; the format is Creators name, Wellcome Images.Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No derivatives licence Historical images have a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence: theyre free to use in any way as long as theyre credited to Wellcome Library, London.Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence Flickr images that we have used have a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence, meaning we and you are free to use in any way as long as the original owner is credited.Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence Cartoon illustrations are Glen McBeth. We commission Glen to produce these illustrations for Big Picture. He is happy for teachers and students to use his illustrations in a classroom setting, but for other uses, permission must be sought. We source other images from photo libraries such as Science Photo Library, Corbis and iStock and will acknowledge in an images credit if this is the case. We do not hold the rights to these images, so if you would like to reproduce them, you will need to contact the photo library directly. If youre unsure about whether you can use or republish a piece of content, just get in touch with us at bigpicture@wellcome.ac.uk.bigpicture@wellcome.ac.uk </li> </ul>