Confused woman reading notes in a notebook

Lesson idea: What does it all mean?

The ethical questions posed in this issue have been put into a PowerPoint presentation for use in the classroom

We are rapidly gaining a much better understanding of the brain and how it operates. We are beginning to see how our thought processes and actions are shaped by activity in the brain. This new knowledge is exciting, but presents us with many challenges. And tools and therapies for use in medicine or research could equally be well applied socially for other uses. How are we going to manage these ethical quandaries?

In this issue, we posed three questions to illustrate the ethical issues society faces around understanding the brain and consciousness.

Responsible adults?

If a lot of our behaviour is outside our conscious control (or feels as if it is), can we always be held responsible for our actions?

Better brains?

How should we react to the potential to enhance the brain’s abilities?

Hands off my brain

Should the contents of the brain be ‘private property’?

These questions and the illustrations from the issue are now available as a PowerPoint presentation below. One of our subscribers thought it was ‘great for discussion as part of an introduction to psychology lesson’.

Lead image:

CollegeDegrees360/Flickr CC BY

Downloadable resources

About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Thinking’ in August 2014.

Genetics and genomics, Neuroscience, Psychology
Education levels:
16–19, Continuing professional development