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Mason Students Present at the International Neuroethics Society

Six student-faculty collaborative projects were presented last week at the annual meeting of the International Neuroethics Society (INS), and another project was presented at the Society for Neuroscience conference.

The students involved come from a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, and have been working with faculty mentors Dr. Andrew Peterson, Dr. Lisa Eckenwiler and Dr. Jesse Kirkpatrick, from the Department of Philosophy and the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy.

The INS is the largest Neuroethics conference in the country and brings together an international group of leading researchers in neuroscience, bioethics, and medicine. It provided a great opportunity for our students to showcase their work, and to show how Mason students and faculty are engaged in cutting-edge interdisciplinary research.


Several of our students also received awards: three received "top abstract awards" from AJOB-Neuroscience, and one received an "INS Poster award" from Oxford University Press. These awards ranked our student projects amongst the best of the 84 projects accepted to the conference.

"The conference was a great opportunity for our students to cut their philosophical teeth," said Dr. Peterson.

Our students did an excellent job representing the Department and University. In fact, several senior scholars in the field approached me after the conference and said they were excited to see such great things happening at Mason.

The projects and student-faculty presenters are:

• DeFranco J, Peterson A "An Analysis of Disparities in Methods for Determining Brain Death Across U.S. Medical Centers" (OSCAR-Funded Project)

• Denton SW, Eckenwiler L, Peterson A "Remembering Trauma: The Ethical Implications of Memory Dampening for Sexual Assault Survivors" AJOB-Neuroscience top abstract award winner

• Downes P, Peterson A "Ethical Issues in Pharmacological Research in Disorders of Consciousness: A Case Study of Amantadine"  AJOB-Neuroscience top abstract award winner

• Flynn M "Inductive Risk and Diagnosis in The Vegetative State" Oxford University Press poster award winner 

• Kluck M, Peterson A "Ethical Considerations for fMRI Research Involving Human Fetuses in Utero" (OSCAR-Funded Project) AJOB-Neuroscience top abstract award winner

• Kirkpatrick J, Barrett E, Peterson A "Coming Home: Dialogues on the Moral, Psychological, and Spiritual Impacts of War" (NEH-Funded Project)

• Neely C, Peterson A "A Bayesian Framework for Disorders of Consciousness Research"

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