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FRIDAY, June 25, 2004

Welcome and Announcements

CHAIRMAN KASS:  We have this morning a plan to return to the subject of neuroscience, brain and behavior, a topic that we've taken up a couple of times in different forms in the last two meetings.

And I remind everybody as to why we are at least exploring this topic in most general terms.  There is certainly a sense that studies and techniques of neuroscience and a study of the brain is very likely to be of great importance for human self-understanding both individual and social, and because the brain is so intimately connected with many of the things that make us human, interventions, technological interventions based upon this new science will raise acutely many ethical issues, not necessarily unique ones, but will raise certain kinds of ethical issues in the most profound way.

The last time, responding to suggestions that before we probed any ethical questions we ought to learn a little something about normal brain development and normal psychological development, we had some very interesting technical presentations on brain development from Dr. Jessel, and on child development, cognitive and temperamental from Jerome Kagan and Elizabeth Spelke.

There were some that where were the ethical issues in that discussion, and the truth was there weren't any immediately presented, but we promised that we would develop some for the next meeting, and that the staff has tried to do.


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