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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Neuroimaging has been to neuroethics what free will and determinism has been, albeit for much longer, to philosophy: pillars for scholarly inquiry and curiosity, and entries to dialogue, debate, and discovery. With interest piqued by reproducible measures of regional blood flow in the human brain under well-defined conditions such as existential problem solving, decision-making, and trust, this article meticulously documents emerging trends involving functional MRI (fMRI) studies. The article builds on that work and examines the hypothesis that almost twenty years after the first wave of such studies, the focus on neuroimaging and its application to complex and profoundly personal human behaviors has not abated. Neuroimaging studies remain an unwavering source of energy for the field. It reviews some of the reasons that they have provoked so much attention in neuroethics and elsewhere, presenting a 2002–2008 update to the trends that documented for 1991–2001, comparing this second generation of data to the first.

Keywords: neuroimaging, neuroethics, decision-making, human behaviors, human brain

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