October Grand Rounds: Two Experiments in Neuroethics – Functional Brain Imaging and Population-Based Research

Two Experiments in Neuroethics:

Functional Brain Imaging and Population-Based Research

Winston Chiong, MD, PhD

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Chiong is the newest member of the Consortium team and will be serving as our Associate Director. Please join us on October 21st to meet and welcome him, and to learn about the incredible advances he's pioneering in the field of neuroethics!
"Neuroethics" can be understood to mean either the use of neuroscientific techniques to investigate ethical questions, or the ethical analysis of new problems posed by our growing understanding of neuroscience. Dr. Chiong will present recent work from both sides of this division. In the first, we used task-based functional magnetic resonance imagining to investigate the neural basis of abnormally utilitarian moral decision-making in patients with frontotemporal dementia. The findings support a model of causal influence between large-scale functional brain networks during moral decision-making, which suggests revisions to an influential dual-process model of moral reasoning. In the second, we used a population-based survey experiment to answer a clinical ethical dilemma regarding the emergency management of patients with acute ischemic stroke who are unable to give consent to treatment. The findings support a limited presumption of consent to treatment in these emergency circumstances.
Dr. Chiong research is focused on decision-making and how it is affected by aging and neurodegenerative disease; as well as ethical and policy implications of these changes. He completed his PhD in philosophy at NYU and his MD and clinical training at UCSF, along with postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience at Berkeley. Much of his earlier work in bioethics has been conceptual in method, addressing ethical issues in clinical research and medical education, personal identity, and brain death. While Dr. Chiong has continued this conceptual work, much of his recent research work utilizes empirical methods such as brain imaging and population-based survey techniques to address medical, financial, and moral decision-making in older adults.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (UCSF) and the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy. UCSF is accredited by the ACGME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Presenting faculty has disclosed no conflict of interest for this event.

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