The Future of the Mind in Law and Science

Vol. 6 No. 6


Barbara J. Gislason serves on the International Association of Lawyers (Union Internationale des Avocats) Board of Governors and is president of UIA Biotechnology Law. She is in private practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

A new depiction of humanity was memorialized by Japan’s autobiographical graphic novelist, Keiji Nakazawa, in publications including I Saw It: The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima, a Survivor’s True Story;1 Suddenly, One Day;2 and Struck by Black Rain.3 Following the silent atomic bomb blooming in Hiroshima, the onset of death meant the child narrator’s “new normal” was to see friends and neighbors with loosening and dripping skin, all creating a monstrous effect. Nakazawa’s work explored what we see and do not see, what is contained and cannot be contained, as well as the concept of form shattering.

While the sudden and profound transformations of the human and nonhuman brain may lack the external and visible monstrous manifestations of what Nakazawa so recently described, the new normal may mean that both human and nonhuman minds morph into a different kind of monster. The new normal may be that the mind is reduced to a brain subject to granular interpretation, genetic reprogramming, and more. A new type of form-shattering event, with similar challenges, may be upon us.

Suddenly, technology has impacted our ability to change generations based upon variables in ways never anticipated, discussed below. Not only will we be able to run a genome sequence or map the brain of prospective parents,4 if not zygotes,5 we will be able to utilize artificial reproductive technology (ART) to select for desirable traits.6 If a parent is not pleased with the results at the ART stage, the parent or entity with authority could authorize structural changes in the growing life form at the fetal stage. However, there are significant risks that come with these choices—selecting one genetic trait may affect another; for example, cats and dogs bred for a white coat may have hearing loss.7 Genetic choices may also impact the ability of the individual to make moral judgments.8

Isaac Asimov, a biochemist and author, said, “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”9 As the mind of the future becomes subject to so many influences, there may be little left of personal autonomy, free will, or even legal intention.10 Mind privacy may vanish, too, as our brains become more bionic and even more vulnerable to surveillance, not unlike the shadowing of electronic communications on the Internet.11 Physicist Michio Kaku has explained that through the use of electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, scientists are developing dictionaries of thought and expect to be able to videotape thoughts in the future.12 Research is underway about neural signatures and neurobiological patterns in the context of decision making.13

In an exploration of intellectual property and mind futures, it is argued that coming to terms with the subject of the future of the mind and its capacity for moral decision making is integral to, if not a predicate for, the future of intellectual property law. With innovation impacting our brains, our ideas about life, death, and who is the creator, inventor, or author of intellectual property may change. If a patented invention is the result of a conception in the mind of the inventor,14 how will we grapple with the legal definitions of inventor, joint inventor, or omitted inventor when a mind is enhanced?

In intellectual property law, there is a conspicuous absence of discussion about a “natural mind.” Instead, we struggle with the definition of “natural” in the context of subject matter regarding the grant of intellectual property rights, as recent cases surrounding gene patents have shown.15 We also do not question why humans and corporate legal persons could have intellectual property rights, but not other animals that inhabit the earth on what is at least arguably a continuum of cognitive abilities that will be affected, too, by many of the same factors impacting us.

Should intellectual property rights be granted when the human is more a manager than inventor? Is what will be created through genetic programming better classified as not patentable, based upon an emerging obviousness standard?16

The future of the mind, broadly speaking, will be impacted by many variables, including the following seven factors:

  1. ART decisions17 made by parents, breeders, scientists, health professionals, communities, business entities, or governments;
  2. Environmental factors that may influence the epigenetics of contributing parents, the surrogate, and the developing zygote, fetus, or child of when genes will be turned on through causes such as the presence of microorganisms in the gut;18
  3. The use of fetal medicine, including the modification of the brain structures in utero;19
  4. The deeper introduction of artificial intelligence that enhances processing speed and certain types of intelligence, modifies sensory inputs or outputs, and also influences moral judgment;20
  5. The impact of societal and environmental influences;21
  6. The use or misuse of genetic modification to create human hybrids and chimeras and other life forms;22 and
  7. The elimination or creation of memories.23

In this article, we concede the dual nature of technology for good and evil24 and explore this subject through the lens of the development and capacity of the mind in an intellectual property and moral context.

Decisions Made with Regard to ART

In taking a closer look at ART, first imagine the humans who might be eliminated and how such eliminations may impact the future of intellectual property. ART decisions will likely impact fetuses otherwise on the autism spectrum25 or those subject to what are known as affective disorders.26 When there is a means to select against autism through technologies developed by scientists, lawmakers might reinforce the “correct” selection by withholding insurance, medical services, personal assistance, and other kinds of resources from those who failed to follow future ART guidelines. There could also be requirements, with emerging ideas, that some brains can be reprogrammed—that those on the spectrum could be subject to working out in what neurobiologist David Eagleman calls, in another treatment context, “the prefrontal gym,”27 utilizing biotechnology feedback. From a selection standpoint, use of such discretionary tools could have a significantly negative impact on society, as we may potentially lose those “disordered” minds that may have been a significant source of innovation and creativity.28

With respect to selection against those with affective disorders, it is believed that 10 percent of the United States population, in their lifetime, will have a depressive disorder.29 However, what we label as a disorder may be a factor in an individual’s capacity to be a literary genius. If those with potential affective disorders were eliminated, the future might lose its own version of Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, or Amy Winehouse.

There are foreseeable issues about what types of decisions would be made in our search for more perfect or enhanced brains. For example, it is foreseeable that permits could be issued as to what kinds of genetic characteristics could be selected. Again, these types of developments could impact the future of intellectual property. With big data in vogue, we can mathematically use emerging bioinformatics, where biological information is combined in a computer with other sophisticated knowledge, to make ART selections. Therefore, it appears that transparency is needed with regard to ART processes and decisions.

Environmental Factors May Influence Epigenetics

Next, we turn to the second of the seven factors, epigenetics.30 This subject not only addresses genetics related to phenotype or appearance, but also which genes are expressed or turned on.31 The subject of the gut is the focus here.

It is believed that we have trillions of microorganisms within us that are symbionts32 that outnumber our own human cells 10 to one. Many of these microorganisms live in the colon, which is called their microbiome residence.33 Animal studies show microbiota influence brain development.34 This gut-brain axis has been referred to as a “second genome” or the “second brain.”35 This second brain, and how it is managed, may have implications for behavior management and stress, as well as depression and anxiety treatments.

The technical name for our second brain, which is estimated to contain 100 million neurons, is the enteric nervous system. This system consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in the walls of the alimentary canal (i.e., the digestive tract). It is now theorized that 90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral vagus nerve carry information from the gut to the brain and influence our emotions.36 If the gut is influencing the development of the brain in ways we never imagined, it is probable that the gut impacts cognitive processes fundamental to the development of intellectual property.37

Suddenly, through a discovery at The Scripps Research Institute, ideas about genetic modification utilizing four DNA letters may soon be obsolete. Instead of DNA being composed only of the natural letters ACGT, synthetic biologists have created two more synthetic bases, X and Y.38 It has yet to be learned how this discovery will influence the developments of new amino acids and proteins or how this invention will affect intellectual property and mind futures. Perhaps we will intentionally incorporate this synthetic DNA into our food supply, which influences our second brain.

Use of Fetal Medicine, Including Modification of the Brain in Utero

Through fetal medicine, brains can be structurally modified in utero. One provider of such fetal medicine offers, for example, “[i]n utero management of congenital spinal & cranial defects” and fetal surgery “to repair open neural tube defects,”39 along with vascular malformations and chiari malformations (essentially cerebellum defects).40

One can only expect that in the future, fetal medicine may impact the brain, as well as the mind,41 of a fetus in more dramatic ways. Perhaps it is not too early to ask how far a parent or entity might go in altering a brain in utero. At what stage of development might a right to have an unaltered brain emerge? Will the fetus have any rights, if achievable, to neural equality?42 Should there be legal limits on how much a fetal brain can be altered, leaving certain decisions to an individual when that person reaches the age of majority?

When should surgeries entering into the realm of human experimentation not be performed without informed consent?43 Current values would enable a doctor to well-inform a patient about the risks of surgery and obtain written informed consent. At the very least, one could imagine using laws to prevent surgeons from modifying a “natural” brain unless certain thresholds are met. These thresholds should be designed to give the person affected as many rights to autonomy for their own cognitive processes as possible.

Introduction of Artificial Intelligence

Rather than compete with an artificial brain, humans might want to incorporate aspects of artificial intelligence (AI) computational abilities into the human body. We have already embraced artificial hips and the brain–computer interface (BCI), also called a mind–machine interface (MMI). Through this technology, the brain can communicate with an external device designed to assist, augment, or repair human cognitive or sensory-motor functions. Neuroprosthetic sensory and motor applications are in development regarding hearing, sight, and movement.44The impact of incorporating AI into a living being might, in a positive respect, enable an individual to be self-supporting.

Through our continuing reliance on inorganic components, it is likely that our future brains will not only be augmented, but also subject to electronic and other methods of surveillance or manipulation by others. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, which involves radio signals that help scientists discover with pinpoint accuracy, we have already looked deep into the brain to see where it lights up.45 The American Psychological Association has said that although this brain scanning technology cannot read minds, “it comes close.”46

Using fMRI scanners, which utilize a magnet and radio waves, function can be monitored through blood flow while subjects respond to specific sensory, auditory, or tactile stimuli in motion. This technology is already being used to observe how decisions are made,47 and even more can be learned when fMRI data is used in concert with behavioral data. Combining fMRI data with behavioral data is not unlike how genetic information in DNA databanks is combined with patient history records to create an individual profile through high-tech bioinformatics.48

There are underrated risks in making fMRI data part of patient health records from a mind privacy perspective. The external ability of others to learn about our thoughts is on the rise, beginning with the expanded use of EEG technology.49 Mind reading helmets are under development to help pilots properly perform their jobs.50 In an Orwellian way,51 the Big Brother of the future might be able to interpret individual P300 signals, which react to stimuli, including facial recognition.52

Our thoughts could be manifested on social media platforms, and subject to regulation and surveillance, the kind described in a popular American movie about pre-crime, Minority Report.53 In this movie, Tom Cruise’s character is charged with a future murder, and to prove his innocence, he has to demonstrate that pre-crime predictability is imperfect. The future of both the mind and intellectual property will be impacted by how big brain data is collected, stored, used, and interpreted.

As we face the crossroads of how we might enhance or modify our brain and potentially harm our moral reasoning capacity, the navy is developing an algorithm for moral judgment as an aspect of AI in robots. Already, humans are seeking artificial painkillers to reduce or stop their natural responses. What if we lost our natural ability for moral judgments and became dependent on our inventions? One might wonder if Plato or Kant, if they were available, would congratulate us on skipping the difficult life question of making mature moral judgments and instead shift this process to our inventions.

The Charlie Rose brain series had a program called The Deciding Brain. Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel said, “And decision-making in economics and moral philosophy is one area in which neuroscience has made the most substantial progress.”

Scientists are looking at brain structures, such as lesions, and performing a variety of experiments while monitoring brain activity with fMRIs that utilize radio wave technology.54 A review of recent literature reveals no particular locus of moral judgment, but rather, complex cognitive/emotional interactions.55 One might postulate that in this type of integrated process, changing the brain will impact both moral and immoral judgments. The rule of law, including intellectual property law, could be impacted if moral judgments concerning rule breaking behaviors decline. Our civilization could lack a moral compass.

Impact of Societal, Environmental, and Other Influences

The fifth factor we consider is the impact of societal, environmental, and other influences. Daniel Siegel, UCLA professor and author, has advanced a more interactive conception of the brain.56 He argues that there are interpersonal neural networks that shape the brain and that “[t]he mind can use the brain to perceive itself, and the mind can be used to change the brain.”57 Neuroscience may help us better understand how nature, including culture, contributes to creative and innovative mind processes.58

There may be other influences on our minds that we do not yet understand. For example, psychologist Carl Jung advocated the existence of a collective unconsciousness wherein the unconscious mind, influenced by ancestral experience and the concepts of science, religion, and morality, is shared.59

Emergence of Human Hybrids, Chimeras, and Other Life Forms

Safeguards are necessary to prevent our individual DNA from being taken without our knowledge or consent. What could be more personal than the DNA that builds the tissue and neurons in human brains and constitutes the biological directions for the way the mind thinks? Nevertheless, a substantial number of human gametes, cells, and tissues are currently kept in biobanks while most humans are not even aware of it.60 There is potential, given these kinds of banking systems,61 that valuable genetics, such as in the brain of Albert Einstein, which is at residence at Princeton University, or any DNA from top entrepreneurs, inventors, and creators around the world, could be harvested and sold for genetic modification purposes.

As genetic modification between species progresses, science is revealing amazing facts about the similarities of human and nonhuman animals. In a McGraw Hill science essay, The Four Chromosomes—Men Really Are Different, the author stated: “Taking all these genes into account, geneticists conclude that men and women differ by 1% to 2% of their genomes—which is the same as the difference between a man and a male chimpanzee (or a woman and a female chimpanzee).”62 It is not surprising, given these scientific advances, that the Nonhuman Rights Project has made habeas corpus challenges on behalf of chimpanzees in several states.63

With modern neuroscience, it is better understood, as Charles Darwin said it, that “the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind.”64 More data will enable the reevaluation of previously held beliefs, as nonhuman animals have homologous brain circuits that correlate with conscious experience.65 For example, it is now known that some great apes have mini-columns in their brains that have a width similar to human children with autism.66

It is foreseeable that as chimpanzees evolve, some will be able to conceptualize inventions. As Jane Goodall described, we were long ignorant that they could use tools.67 As we move natural or synthetic DNA between humans and other species, traditional ideas about animals often lie somewhere between ideas about theology, such as the biblical Genesis description of human dominion over other animals,68 and science, where MRIs are currently being used to establish that dogs have sentience.69 MRI certified dogs remain still for 30 seconds while the machine measures their responses to hand signals, observations, and smells.70

Research on consciousness is rapidly changing as new research techniques and strategies are developed.71 In a piece called The Animal Self, The New York Times reported that researchers were collecting evidence that shows octopuses and fruit flies have personalities.72 There is growing recognition that a variety of animals have significant cognitive functions, including dogs, orcas, and the African grey parrot. Studies at Purdue University suggest that fish and crustaceans feel pain.73 There may also be an answer to the great question posed by philosopher Thomas Nagel: “What is it like to be a bat?”74

New conceptions of human hybrids and chimeras emerge when human genes are mixed together with those of other life forms, and we should be thoughtful about how we use both ourselves and other species and invite ourselves to revive the need for advanced moral reasoning and bioethics.75 It is also predictable that as other animals further develop cognition, naturally or through enhancements, that an objective determination of inventor status would be based on a continuum of human and nonhuman abilities, rather than be species based.

Elimination of Memories and Pain

The last of the seven factors relates to the deliberate elimination of memories and pain. It has been learned that a single gene may have a significant role in our perception of pain. The gene is called hyperpolarization activated cyclic nucleotide (HCN2).76 This gene is a type of protein and impacts how neural electrical impulses are sent to the brain. Physical pain can be either due to nerve damage (neuropathic), or due to inflammatory conditions that impact nerve endings, such as arthritis.77 HCN2 impacts neuropathic pain and even acute pain. In eliminating the perception of physical pain, we can also address anguish associated with the loss of physical capabilities.

Research on memory loss is already in progress, including treating humans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). European researchers found that PRKCA genes, also known as “A alleles,” are now known to be related to the formation of emotional memories.78 These genes appropriately encode an enzyme called protein kinase and particularly affect Europeans. It is expected that significant genome studies will be necessary to discover more gene varieties related to memory, with particular emphasis on whether an individual will develop PTSD.

There is concern over whether the same noteworthy discoveries for reducing pain might be applied in a morally repugnant way. The New York Times, in a 2010 op-ed article called Not Grass-Fed, but at Least Pain-Free,79 said that with this breakthrough, it is foreseeable that livestock would be genetically engineered to feel less pain.80 Even so, it seems that the elimination of this kind of pain, described by those who see pain in a biological way, does not explain pain from the perspective of a conscious animal with cognitive abilities. Even so, scientists such as Michael Sughrue would argue, in the primate context, that the mental anguish suffered by a primate induced to have a stroke for experimental purposes would not suffer the same abstract pain a human would.81

One might ask if we, in changing humans and other species, might sacrifice an autonomous will by changing our brain artificially and how it utilizes morality in the decision-making process.82 If individuals lose their moral compass, intellectual property could be affected by a different perspective about respecting rights in what was once a civilization bound by the rule of law.

While individuals, entities, and governments may seek to affect corners of the moral universe regarding the dignity and integrity of life, questions arise about proscribing the limits for how individual human and nonhuman minds may be selected, designed, and influenced. The legal community must appreciate not only how technology is used for good purposes, but also evaluate how world lawmakers will imagine and preserve species’ integrity, dignity, and honor for a broad spectrum of life.


Since a mind capable of inventive concept is a corner stone for any intellectual property protection, the direction of biotechnology advances is related to our brains or minds and may necessitate incorporation of moral consideration into intellectual property law. Hamlet said, “They are not near my conscience,” referring to wrongdoers Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, his college friends who planned to kill him at his foul stepfather king’s direction.83 Although we could have a lengthy discussion about whether a conscience exists and what types of behaviors our conscience is answerable to, we will presume that it does exist and that it impacts social principles concerning what we affirmatively should do.

The idea of a moral principle, as a predicate for moral obligation apart from the rule of law and contracts, was well-articulated by Immanuel Kant, who spoke of “the moral law within me.”84 Kant also said that moral requirements are a standard of rationality.85 His complex view of morality includes ideas such as aims and methods, good will, moral worth and duty, and duty and respect for moral law.

George W. Bush, former president of the United States, once said, “The action we take and the decisions we make in this decade will have consequences far into this century. If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy. That will not happen on my watch.”86 Perhaps we should ask ourselves what we will allow to happen on our watch and remember what lessons we can from Hiroshima, as depicted by Keiji Nakazawa. We must do more with moral codes as represented in soft laws such as the Hague Convention.87 Humanity remains immature in the development of moral doctrines and principles with regard to both human and nonhuman animals.

Although we perceive ourselves as utilizing facts in a logical way, our knowledge about the world and comprehension of what might be called true facts is always limited and evolving. What were at one time and place irrefutable facts are now delegated to the realm of erroneous beliefs. Galileo Galilei proved that the earth moves around the sun; Johannes Kepler proved that the earth moves in an elliptical orbit; and Sir Isaac Newton described gravitation. More recently, J. Robert Oppenheimer, known as the father of the atomic bomb, said, “If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say ‘no’; if we ask whether the electron’s position changes with time, we must say ‘no’; if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say ‘no’; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say ‘no.’”88 Could we evolve our understanding of morality as profoundly as we have observed our scientific facts change?

As we continue to prize and praise innovation for what it can do, we must dream a bigger dream about life forms on earth, including ourselves. According to today’s legal models, we imagine that the rule of law is enough, notwithstanding that we are on the brink of losing even our minds, on the altar of a technological “higher power.” Our laws have historically embraced principles and ideas of liberty and justice. Now, a new world order involving values about the creator, inventor, or author of intellectual property must advance on a reimagined moral plane or vectors. There are positive and negative aspects of innovation. If we can eliminate physical pain and memory, the brain—the mind—cannot be what it was. These kinds of breakthroughs, monumental as they are, are taking place without a global moral context to absorb and create meaning from them.

Despite an awareness that what were once considered to be human parts can be replaced (e.g., with an artificial knee or a pig heart valve), humans still identify the “self” by memories, relationships, work, culture, country, sense of morality, values, and whatever is bigger than us, including our hopes, dreams, and goals.

One is reminded of the concept of a global neighborhood advanced by the Honorable R.W. Nugent, a justice of the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa, who said, “If the law in the new neighborhood does not have the same capacity for inherent self-discipline that it does when it functions in a national state, then we have no choice but to exercise that discipline by our own restraint if the law of the global neighborhood is to be legitimate.”89 It will be a challenge for humans to expand our global neighborhood to nonhuman forms.

Bioethics and moral issues, together with definitions of the future about the source of intellectual property, cascade beyond the subject of human species integrity and reflect a great challenge. The preservation of free will should be robustly explored in terms of both global oversights consistent with enhanced public standards and worldwide harmonization of intellectual property laws for a variety of life forms.90 We are in danger of losing the minds of potential innovators on the autism spectrum if autistic brains become scheduled for extinction. We cannot isolate ourselves from moral responsibility and treat human and nonhuman minds as chemistry sets.

As we explore the dark side of innovation, we must ask difficult questions and determine when and where a line must be drawn. It matters that we are conscious and have a unique role to play. It matters that we are aware of our capacity to make decisions that impact the trajectory of other lives. The legal community is challenged to contemplate our rule of law conceptions and ideals and to contemplate how to honor and protect the integrity of the mind. The term “mind” includes, but is not limited to, the biological structure commonly known as the brain, in human and nonhuman animals, and the neuron organization in other life forms.91 We must learn how to honor and protect the integrity of human and nonhuman minds. Contemplate the following observation by Albert Einstein: “Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.”

As intellectual property lawyers have roles affecting changing mind forms and as new patents flow, perhaps we might stop and grapple with our collective futures and ask questions. Futures may not be fixed, yet.


1. Keiji Nakazawa, I Saw It: The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima: A Survivor’s True Story (Educomics 1982).

2. Keiji Nakazawa, Aru hi totsuzen ni [Suddenly, One Day], Shonen Jump (1970).

3. Keiji Nakazawa, Kuroi ame ni utarete [Struck by Black Rain], Manga Punch (1968).

4. Reproductive Genetics Initiative, Genetics & Pub. Pol’y Center, (last updated Mar. 2007).

5. James Gorman, 3-D Map of Human Brain Gives Unprecedented Detail, N.Y. Times, June 20, 2013,; Fruit Fly Brain Map a Boon to Neuroscience, Sci. Am. (Aug. 29, 2013),

6. Note that in 2008, the American Bar Association (ABA) adopted the Model Act Governing Assisted Reproductive Technology, available at

7. George M. Strain, La. State Univ. Sch. of Veterinary Med., Paper Presented at the Tufts’ Canine & Feline Breeding and Genetics Conference: Hereditary Deafness in Dogs and Cats: Causes, Prevalence, and Current Research (Oct. 2–4, 2003), available at

8. Joshua Greene’s Homepage, (last visited May 27, 2014).

9. James Gunn, Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction (Scarecrow Press 2005).

10. Bernice B. Donald, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Paper Presented at the 57th Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA) Congress: Probing the Mind: Neuroscience, the Rules of Evidence, and the Constitution (Nov. 2, 2013), available at

11. Loek Essers, Survey: Almost 90 Percent of Internet Users Have Taken Steps to Avoid Surveillance, PCWorld (Sept. 4, 2013),

12. Michio Kaku, The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind (2014).

13. Antonio Rangel, Colin Camerer & P. Read Montague, A Framework for Studying the Neurobiology of Value-Based Decision Making, 9 Nature Revs.: Neuroscience 545 (2008), available at

14. 2137 Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(f) [R-11.2013],, (last visited May 27, 2014).

15. See, e.g., Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 2107 (2013) (ruling that human genes may not be patented, but maintaining an opening for the patenting of synthetic DNA).

16. William Samore, Artificial Intelligence and the Patent System: Can a New Tool Render a Once Patentable Idea Obvious?, 29 Syracuse J. Sci. & Tech. L. Rep. 113 (2013).

17. Charles P. Kindregan Jr. & Maureen McBrien, Assisted Reproductive Technology: A Lawyer’s Guide to Emerging Law and Science 1 (Supp. 2009).

18. Epigenetics, Folates and the Human Gut, Inst. Food Res. (May 9, 2012),

19. Fetal Surgery: In Utero Management of Congenital Spinal & Cranial Defects, UNC Sch. Med. Dep’t Neurosurgery, (last visited May 20, 2014).

20. Steven Levy, How Ray Kurzweil Will Help Google Make the Ultimate AI Brain, Wired (Apr. 25, 2013),

21. Parag Khanna & Ayesha Khanna, Does the Brain Control the Mind or the Mind Control the Brain?, Big Think (Sept. 9, 2010),

22. Barbara J. Gislason, Human Hybrids and Chimeras: Exploring the Implications of Biobanks and Pluripotent Cells with Regard to Species Integrity and National Security, Mid-Atlantic J.L. & Pub. Pol’y, Fall 2013, at 7.

23. Unprecedented Control of Genome Editing in Flies Promises Insight into Human Development, Disease, ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2013),

24. John Harris, Scientific Research Is a Moral Duty, 31 J. Med. Ethics 242 (2005).

25. Benjamin Wallace, Autism Spectrum: Are You On It?, N.Y. Mag. (May 12, 2014),

26. Douglas F. Levinson, Genetics of Brain Function: Major Depression and Genetics, Stan. Sch. Med., (last visited May 20, 2014).

27. Torie Bosch, Using Neuroscience to Help Addicts Kick the Habit, Slate (Nov. 11, 2011),

28. No one knows for sure who is on the autism spectrum. See Wallace, supra note 23 (noting speculation that U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney and U.S. President Barack Obama are on the autism spectrum; others on the spectrum might include high technology giants Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, and the Harry Potter series author, J.K. Rowling).

29. Levinson, supra note 24.

30. Danielle Simmons, Epigenetic Influences and Disease, Nature Educ. (2008),

31. Can Genes Be Turned On and Off in Cells?, Genetics Home Reference (May 12, 2014),

32. Symbionts are organisms in a symbiotic relationship.

33. Human Microbiome Project, Nat’l Insts. Health, (last updated Apr. 29, 2014).

34. Animal studies at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at the Brain-Body Institute at McMaster University in Canada show microbiota influence brain development. Bill Glovin, New Cerebrum Story Outlines Relationship between the Gut and Brain, Dana Found. Blog (June 27, 2013),

35. Id.

36. More will be learned when the Human Microbiome Project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is completed. Walter Sorochan, The Immune-Digestive System Connection,, (last updated Jan. 29, 2013).

37. Human Microbiome Project, supra note 33.

38. Scientists Create Functioning Synthetic DNA, Aljazeera America, (last visited May 9, 2014).

39. Fetal Surgery, supra note 17.

40. Chiari Malformations, UNC Sch. Med. Dep’t Neurosurgery, (last visited May 20, 2014); see also Chiari Malformation Fact Sheet, Nat’l Inst. Neurological Disorders & Stroke, (last updated Apr. 16, 2014).

41. Tanya Lewis, A Beautiful Mind: Brain Injury Turns Man into Math Genius, LiveScience (May 5, 2014),

42. Ryuta Aoki et al., Social Equality in the Number of Choice Options Is Represented in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex, 34 J. Neuroscience 6413 (2014).

43. Nazi Medical Experiments, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, (last updated June 10, 2013).

44. Anupama H.S et al., Brain Computer Interface and Its Types—A Study, Int’l J. Advances Engineering & Tech. (May 2012),

45. Rebecca A. Clay, Am. Psychological Ass’n, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A New Research Tool (2007),

46. Id. at 2.

47. Id. at 27–29.

48. Gislason, supra note 20, at 11.

49. Julie Bort, Mind-Blowing: Today’s Mind-Controlled, Mind-Reading Technologies, InfoWars (Aug. 1, 2011),

50. Allison Barrie, Mind Reading Helmets on the Horizon for Fighter Pilots, Fox News (Feb. 23, 2012),

51. George Orwell, 1984 (Signet Classic 1950).

52. Celia Gorman, The Mind-Reading Machine, IEEE Spectrum (July 9, 2012),

53. Minority Report (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. 2002).

54. Amit, E., and Greene, J.D. (2012), You See, the Ends Don’t Justify the Means: Visual Imagery and Moral Judgment, Psychological Science, 23(8), 861-868.

55. Shenhav, A., Greene, J.D. (2014), Integrative Moral Judgment: Dissociating the Roles of the Amygdala and the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex, Journal of Neuroscience. 34(13), 4741-4749.

56. Daniel J. Siegel, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation (Bantam 2010).

57. Khanna & Khanna, supra note 19.

58. But see Erez Reuveni, Copyright, Neuroscience, and Creativity, 64 Ala. L. Rev. 735 (2013); Susan Cain, The Rise of the New Groupthink, N.Y. Times, Jan. 13, 2012, Erez Reuveni argues that creativity functions on a neurobiological level and that when cognitive architecture is better understood, we will better understand creativity as an internal process, as well as one that functions externally while interacting with information and cultural environments.

59. Concept of Collective Unconscious at Jung,, (last visited May 20, 2014).

60. Lori B. Andrews, Future Perfect: Confronting Decisions about Genetics (Columbia Univ. Press 2002).

61. Gislason, supra note 20, at 17.

62. George Johnson & Jonathan Losos, The Living World 275 (McGraw Hill 6th ed. 2010).

63. See generally, Nonhuman Rights Project, available at (last visited May 15, 2014).

64. Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex 105 (1871).

65. Richard Granger, The Evolution of Computation in Brain Circuitry, 29 Behav. & Brain Sci. 17 (2006), available at

66. Daniel P. Buxhoeveden & Manuel F. Casanova, The Minicolumn Hypothesis in Neuroscience, 125 Brain 935 (2002), available at

67. Bob Grant, Do Chimps Have Culture? What Can We Learn From the Fact That Chimps Can Teach Each Other? The Scientist (Aug. 1, 2007), available at; Jane Goodall, Reason For Hope: A Spiritual Journey 47 (1999).

68. See, e.g., Genesis 1:28–29 (King James) (“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”).

69. Rebecca Morelle, Dogs’ Brain Scans Reveal Vocal Responses, BBC News (Feb. 20, 2014),

70. Gregory Berns, How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain (2013).

71. Philip Low, Declaration Signed at the Francis Crick Memorial Conference on Consciousness in Human and Non-Human Animals: The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness (July 7, 2012), available at

72. Charles Siebert, The Animal Self, N.Y. Times, Jan. 22, 2006,

73. Harvey Black, Underwater Suffering: Do Fish Feel Pain?, Sci. Am. (Aug. 1, 2009),

74. Thomas Nagel, What Is It Like to Be a Bat, 83 Phil. Rev. 435 (1974), available at

75. See Nuffield Council on Bioethics, (last visited May 20, 2014).

76. Nadeem Shaikh, Chronic Pain Gene Discovery May Improve Treatment, BioNews (Sept. 12, 2011),

77. Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet, Nat’l Inst. Neurological Disorders & Stroke, (last updated Apr. 16, 2014).

78. Mo Costandi, Gene Linked to Post-Traumatic Stress, Nature (May 14, 2012),

79. Adam Shriver, Not Grass-Fed, but at Least Pain-Free, The New York Times, (last visited May 15, 2014).

80. Ori J. Herstein, Is Genetically Engineering Animals to Feel No Pain a Moral Solution, Dorf on Law, (last visited May 7, 2014).

81. Michael E. Sughrue et al., Biological Considerations in Translational Research: Primate Stroke, 9 Am. J. Bioethics 3, 4 (2009).

82. Hauke R. Heekeren et al., An fMRI Study of Simple Ethical Decision-Making, 14 NeuroReport 1215 (2003).

83. William Shakespeare, Hamlet act 5, sc. 2.

84. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason (1788).

85. Robert Johnson, Kant’s Moral Philosophy, Stan. Encyclopedia Phil., (last updated Apr. 6, 2008).

86. Martin Kelly, Quotes from George W. Bush, Am. Hist., (last visited May 20, 2014).

87. Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, May 29, 1993, 32 I.L.M. 1134 (1993), available at

88. Talk: Robert Oppenheimer, Wikiquote, (last modified Dec. 15, 2013).

89. R.W. Nugent, Law’s New Chapters in the Global Neighborhood, A.B.A. TIPS Intell. Prop. L. Committee Newsl., Fall 2008, at 13.

90. Harmonization: The Time Is Now,, (last modified Dec. 7, 2012).

91. Sy Montgomery, Deep Intellect: Inside the Mind of the Octopus, Orion, Nov./Dec. 2011, available at





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