PROJECT: JTC2020-ELSA: STIMCODE

BRAIN STIMULATION RECONSIDERED – PARTICIPATIVE DEVELOPMENT OF A CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION

Abstract

Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) has received growing attention in recent years. As a result, numerous guidelines and safety standards for the use of NIBS have been developed and published by the scientific community. However, clinical research and treatment with NIBS always raises ethical questions for researchers and practitioners. For example, the boarder between treatment and neuroenhancement is still blurry. Furthermore, it is not clear if the same guidelines apply for treating vulnerable populations, e.g. children and elderly people. These questions are all the more relevant in view of the fact that a huge market has developed in recent years outside clinical research, where individuals can buy NIBS products and use them at home. These developments increasingly create serious regulatory problems also for the relevant authorities. The aim of this project is therefore to develop a code of conduct for NIBS in collaboration with stakeholders from academia, society, industry and government. This code of conduct should enable researchers to reflect on the impact of their research, enable governments to establish sustainable and EU-wide regulations, and provide industry and other stakeholders with a reliable framework. By involving laypersons, experts from different disciplines and industry as well as an international consortium, the developed Code of Conduct ensures the inclusion of numerous perspectives from a broad spectrum of society, which guarantees its legitimacy.

Keywords

Non-invasive brain stimulation, participation, code of conduct, layperson involvement, interdisciplinarity

Call topic

Ethical, Legal, and Social Aspects of Neuroscience

Proposed runtime

2021 - 2024

Project team

Martina Schraudner (Coordinator)
Germany (BMBF)
Andrea Antal
Germany (BMBF)

Lay summary