Ethical, Legal, and Social Aspects (ELSA) of Neuroscience

What is the ELSA Call about?

Neuroscientific research yields constant progress regarding our basic understanding of the structure and function of the human brain under healthy and pathological conditions. This knowledge is fundamental for the development of new diagnostics and treatments for patients suffering from neurological or psychiatric disorders. At the same time, neuroscientific research has implications for the understanding, and thus potentially also the control, of human decision-making, behaviour, emotions, and social interactions. Findings from neuroscientific research can furthermore deeply affect human self-understanding and conscience as such.

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Regular calls on “Ethical, Legal, and Social Aspects (ELSA) of Neuroscience” therefore address these important multi-faceted and overarching topics.
Investigating the ethical, philosophical, legal and socio-cultural aspects related to neuroscientific research helps us to ensure that neuroscientific methods and findings are utilized in ways which are of the best possible benefit for our society. Such considerations are also of importance to support responsible research and governance.

The high societal relevance of neuroscientific research is underlined by continuously high public interest and ongoing public discourse on this topic.

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