Research and Scholarship

Tim Brown
Tim Brown working at CSNE
  • Focus groups with individuals with disabilities on perspectives of brain-computer interface (BCI)
  • Focus groups and interviews with end users of neural devices
  • Interviews with subjects with closed-loop deep brain stimulation (DBS) for essential tremor (Tim Brown) and with subjects with DBS for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (Eran Klein)
  • Survey of BCI scientists on attitudes toward ethics and ethics engagement
  • Collaboration with the Neuroethics Core at UBC

Recent Publications

Thompson, Margaret, Jeffrey Herron, Tim Brown, Howard Chizeck , Jeffrey Ojemann, and Andrea Ko. “Chronic ECoG for Sensing Movement Intention and Closed-Loop DBS with Wearable Sensors in an Essential Tremor Patient.” Journal of Neurosurgery (forthcoming).

Goering, Sara. “Thinking Differently: Neurodiversity and Neural Engineering.” In Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics, edited by L. Syd M Johnson and Karen S. Rommelfanger (forthcoming, 2018).

Campbell, Stephen M. and Joseph Stramondo. "The Complicated Relationship of Disability and Well-being." The Kennedy Institute for Ethics Journal (Forthcoming)

Brown, Tim, Margaret Thompson, Jeffrey Herron, Andrea Ko, Howard Chizeck, and Sara Goering. “Controlling Our Brains — On the Ethical Implications of Brain Computer Interface-Triggered Deep Brain Stimulation for Essential Tremor.” Brain-Computer Interfaces 3 (2016):  165-170.

Klein, Eran, Sara Goering, Josh Gagne, Conor V. Shea, Rachel Franklin, Samuel Zorowitz, Darin D. Dougherty, and Alik S. Widge. “Brain-Computer Interface-Based Control of Closed-Loop Brain Stimulation: Attitudes and Ethical Considerations.” Brain-Computer Interfaces 3 (2016): 1–9.

Klein, Eran, and Jeffrey Ojemann. “Informed Consent in Implantable BCI Research: Identification of Research Risks and Recommendations for Development of Best Practices.” Journal of Neural Engineering 13 (2016): 43001–43001.

Byram, AC, G Lee, AM Owen, U Ribary, AJ Stoessl, A Townson, and Judy Illes. Ethical and Clinical Considerations at the Intersection of Functional Neuroimaging and Disorders of Consciousness.  Camb Q Healthc Ethics 25 (2016):613-22.

Specker Sullivan, Laura and Judy Illes. “Beyond ‘Communication and Control’: Towards Ethically Complete Rationales for Brain Computer Interface Research.” Brain-Computer Interfaces 3 (2016): 156-163. 

Specker Sullivan, Laura. “Uncovering Metaethical Assumptions in Bioethics Across Cultures.” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 26 (2016): 47-78.

Stramondo, Joseph. “Why Bioethics Needs a Disability Moral Psychology.” The Hastings Center Report 46 (2016): 22-30.

Sisti, D. and Stramondo, Joseph. “Competence, Voluntariness, and Oppressive Socialization: A Feminist Critique of the Threshold Elements of Informed Consent.” The International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 8 (2015): 67-85.

Specker Sullivan, Laura. “Do Implanted Brain Devices Threaten Autonomy or the ‘Sense’ of Autonomy?” (Open Peer Commentary). American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience 6 (2015): 24-26. 

Goering, Sara. “Stimulating Autonomy: DBS and the Prospect of Choosing to Control Ourselves Through Stimulation.” AJOB Neuroscience 6 (2015): 1–3.

Klein, Eran, Tim Brown, Matthew Sample, Anjali R. Truitt, and Sara Goering. “Engineering the Brain: Ethical Issues and the Introduction of Neural Devices.” Hastings Center Report 45 (2015): 26–35.

Klein, Eran. “Models of the Patient-Machine-Clinician Relationship in Closed-Loop Machine Neuromodulation.” In Machine Medical Ethics, edited by Simon Peter van Rysewyk and Matthijs Pontier, 273–290. Cham: Springer, 2015.

Klein, Eran. “Informed Consent in Implantable BCI Research: Identifying Risks and Exploring Meaning.” Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (2015): 1–19.

Jacob, KJ, BK Kwon, C Lo, J Snyder, and Judy IllesPerspectives on Strategies and Challenges in the Conversation about Stem Cells for Spinal Cord Injury. Spinal Cord 53 (2015):811-5.

Goering, Sara. “Is It Still Me? DBS, Agency, and the Extended, Relational Me.” AJOB Neuroscience 5 (2014): 50–51.

Illes Judy. “Empowering Brain Science with Neuroethics. Lancet 376 (2010): 1294-5.

Illes, Judy. Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice, and Policy. Oxford University Press, 2006.



Brown, Tim, Patrick Moore, Jeffrey Herron, Margaret Thompson, Tamara Bonaci, Howard J. Chizeck, and Sara Goering. “Personal Responsibility in the Age of User-Controlled Neuroprosthetics.” Paper presented at the IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science and Technology, Vancouver, British Columbia, May 13-14, 2016. 

Brown, Tim & Laura Specker-Sullivan. “Engineering Uncertainty at the Intersection of Agency, Autonomy, and Authenticity.” Paper presented at Bioethics: Preparing for the Unknown, Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, March 17-18, 2016.

Specker Sullivan, Laura and Peter Reiner. “Persuasive Devices: From Paternalistic to Maternalistic Choice Architectures”. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Neuroethics Society, San Diego, California, November 10-11, 2016.

Specker Sullivan, Laura and Judy Illes. “At the Ethics Interface of Brain Computer Interfaces”. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Neuroethics Society, San Diego, California, November 10-11, 2016.

Specker Sullivan, Laura. “Can Neuroethicists Create a Transdisciplinary Standpoint?” Panel with Sara Goering and Paul Ford. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH), Washington, DC, October 6-9, 2016.

Specker Sullivan, Laura. “Normality Through the Lens of Neural Engineering.” Paper presented at the International Conference of Japan Association for Philosophical and Ethical Research in Medicine, 2015.