is a field of science edits the body and mind through the Nervous System
by electronics and mechanisms.
When the field of neuroscience
began to self-organize in the 1960s, the experimental model
was the laboratory rat and the technologies deployed were crude by today's standards. In a typical early example, neuroscientists would implant stimulating or recording electrodes chronically into the rat brain and attempt to use electrical stimulation (similar to modern deep brain stimulation
) to change the behavior of the experimental animal. What happened in the rat brain was supposed to yield understanding of how the human brain might work.
Modern Neuroscience creates Neurotechnologies
Neuroscience has matured now to the point where, with non-invasive human brain imaging, the common experimental model is the human subject volunteer and the questions being asked, get at some of the fundamental questions of what it means to be human and to have a mind
. The revolution in technologies that has made this maturation possible extends from gene
to hospital bed-side and is now referred to as neurotechnology.
Some examples of neurotechnology include the CAT scanner
(MEG), Positron emission tomography
, high-throughput genetic sequencing, brain proteomics
and psychopharmaceuticals. These technologies also include neural modeling simulations, biological computers, and human-brain interfaces (prosthetics).
Neurotechnologies present neuroethical challenges
As these new technologies have emerged, ethicists have begun to raise questions of how the new technologies might be practically used and what policies might govern their use . Applications such as deception detection, neuro-marketing and the potential for artificially augmenting cognition all have policy implications.
Understanding human mind
The neurotechnology revolution has enabled the possibility for the Decade of the Mind
initiative. It also offers the possibility of revealing the mechanisms by which mind and consciousness
emerge from brain.