Focal Areas

Potential focal areas of study in the Neuroscience & Public Policy Program include:

  • Neuroscience and human development and well being: the science of  early childhood, adolescent and adult neural development; educational planning and its role in community and economic development programs in local, national and global contexts.
  • Policy and legal implications for brain interventions: new surgical and imaging techniques, pharmaceuticals for behavioral modifications, cognitive enhancement, genetic or stem cell therapies, neuro-mechanical interfaces, and nano-biotechnologies.
  • Neurotoxins policy and environmental law: neurotoxin risk and environmental exposure, including special populations such as fetuses and workers; use of neurotoxins in warfare and police actions.
  • Neuroscience and behavior: social behavior and policy for helping societies respond to violent behavior, suicide and addiction.
  • Brain function and policy: criminal responsibility, brain death, consciousness in a persistent vegetative state, mental capacity of adolescents and mental health patients to stand trial, impairment of decision-making capacity by drugs, alcohol use, or dementia, and the relationship of mental impairment to dangerous behavior.
  • Research governance in neuroscience: agency oversight of emerging technologies, oversight of cell therapy clinical trials, military research and research on human subjects, as well as conflicts of interest in neuroscience reserach.