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Torbet, G. (2012). Wardlaw, J. M., O'Connell, G., Shuler, K., DeWilde, J., Haley, J., Escobar, O., Murray, S., et al. (2011). “Can it read my mind?” What do the public and experts think of the current (mis)uses of neuroimaging? PLoS ONE, 6 (10): e25829.. Neuropsychoanalysis, 14(1):119-120.
(2012). Neuropsychoanalysis, 14(1):119-120
Wardlaw, J. M., O'Connell, G., Shuler, K., DeWilde, J., Haley, J., Escobar, O., Murray, S., et al. (2011). “Can it read my mind?” What do the public and experts think of the current (mis)uses of neuroimaging? PLoS ONE, 6 (10): e25829.
Review by: Georgiana Torbet
The use of neuroimaging outside of the medical and scientific domains is a frequent topic of interest for both the media and the public. Can brain scans detect early signs of criminality, detect lies, or be used to for more effective advertising and marketing? How do the opinions of the public differ from those of experts? The questionnaire study by Wardlaw et al. has compared the attitudes of the British public and neuroscience researchers on the limitations of neuroimaging and its ethical consequences.
The survey found that 60% of public respondents had seen information about brain imaging in the last 6 months, indicating a high level of penetration into the public consciousness. Despite frequent poor reporting of neuroimaging studies in the media, a large proportion of the public remained skeptical about the use of brain scans, particularly in legal, employment, or marketing contexts. Common concerns were data protection and privacy issues, as well as being compelled to undergo a brain scan for a job interview or health insurance.
Experts were, on the whole, more optimistic about the future potential for brain scan technology.
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