Electrical Brain Stimulation
The electrical signaling within each neuron is not just of theoretical interest. Knowing the electrical basis of brain functioning offers an understanding of disorders such as epilepsy, so that physicians can help people avoid or control seizures. There is growing evidence that implanting electrodes in the brain can offer relief for movement and mental disorders. However, the power to manipulate the brain’s electrical signals raises ethical questions. Does society have the right to force someone to receive electrical stimulation in the brain? For example, would it be acceptable to implant an electrode in the brain of a person convicted of murder that prevents the person from being aggressive?
For this week’s Discussion, you examine the electrical properties of individual neurons and the ethical implications of electrical brain stimulation.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4 a brief description of the electrical properties of an individual neuron. Then explain how those properties may change over time. Finally, describe the potential ethical implications of implanting an electrode in the brain of a person convicted of murder that prevents the person from being aggressive, instead of sending him or her to prison. Support your postings and responses with specific references to the literature and Learning Resources.