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Medical Neuroscience

Neural Prosthetics

Neuroscientific and Philosophical Aspects of Changing the Brain

by (author) Walter Glannon

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2021
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price

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Neural prosthetics are systems or devices implanted in or connected to the brain that influence the input and output of information. They modulate, bypass, supplement, or replace regions of the brain and its connections to parts of the body that are damaged, dysfunctional, or lost, whether from congenital conditions, brain injury, limb loss, or neurodegenerative disease. Neural prosthetics can restore sensory, motor, and cognitive functions in people with these conditions and enable them to regain functional independence and improve their quality of life.

This book explores the neuroscientific and philosophical implications of neural prosthetics. Neuroscientific discussion focuses on how neural prosthetics can restore brain and bodily functions to varying degrees, looking at auditory and visual prosthetics, deep brain and responsive neurostimulation, brain-computer interfaces, brain-to-brain interfaces, and memory prosthetics. Philosophical discussion then considers the degree to which people with these prosthetics can benefit from or be harmed by them. Finally, it explores how these devices and systems can lead to a better understanding of the brain-mind relation, mental causation, and agency.

This is an essential volume for anyone invested in the current and future directions of neural prosthetics, including neuroscientists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neural engineers, psychologists, and psychiatrists, as well as philosophers, bioethicists, and legal theorists.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Walter Glannon is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. Previously he held academic appointments at McGill University and the University of British Columbia. He has also been a clinical ethicist at three hospitals. He is the author or editor of 11 books, including Biomedical Ethics (2005), Bioethics and the Brain (2006), Brain, Body and Mind: Neuroethics with a Human Face (2011) and Psychiatric Neuroethics: Studies in Research and Practice (2019), all with OUP.

Other titles by Walter Glannon