Towards new human rights in the age of neuroscience and neurotechnology

Life Sci Soc Policy. 2017 Dec;13(1):5. doi: 10.1186/s40504-017-0050-1. Epub 2017 Apr 26.


Rapid advancements in human neuroscience and neurotechnology open unprecedented possibilities for accessing, collecting, sharing and manipulating information from the human brain. Such applications raise important challenges to human rights principles that need to be addressed to prevent unintended consequences. This paper assesses the implications of emerging neurotechnology applications in the context of the human rights framework and suggests that existing human rights may not be sufficient to respond to these emerging issues. After analysing the relationship between neuroscience and human rights, we identify four new rights that may become of great relevance in the coming decades: the right to cognitive liberty, the right to mental privacy, the right to mental integrity, and the right to psychological continuity.

MeSH terms

  • Brain
  • Cognition*
  • Freedom*
  • Human Rights*
  • Humans
  • Neurosciences*
  • Privacy