Focquaert, F. & De Ridder, D. (2009). Direct intervention in the brain: Questions concerning personal identity. Journal of Ethics in Mental Health, 4, 1-7.

Personal identity has been the focus of philosophical and ethical debate for centuries. During the last decades, different techniques for intervening in the brain, and hence our mind, are being developed and refined. Neuromodulation techniques, such as direct stimulation of the brain via implanted electrodes (e.g., deep brain stimulation), target the brain's capacity for reorganization to exert their effects and might directly or indirectly influence our mental states.

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Focquaert, F. (2009). Bioethics and the brain. Philosophical Psychology, 22, 345-501.

In Bioethics and the Brain, Walter Glannon discusses various philosophical and ethical questions related to the relatively new field of neuroethics. He focuses on such issues as predictive brain imaging, psychopharmacological enhancement, neurosurgery, and brain death; and provides us with a wealth of scientific data related to these issues.

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Focquaert, F., Braeckman, J., & Platek, S.M. (2008). An evolutionary cognitive neuroscience perspective on human self-awareness and theory of mind. Philosophical Psychology, 21, 1-22.

The evolutionary claim that the function of self-awareness lies, at least in part, in the benefits of theory of mind (TOM) regained attention in light of current findings in cognitive neuroscience, including mirror neuron research. Although certain non-human primates most likely posses mirror self-reflection skills, we claim that they lack the introspective abilities that are crucial for human-like TOM. Primate research on TOM skills such as emotional recognition, seeing versus knowing and ignorance versus knowing are discussed.

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Focquaert, F., Steven, M.S., Wolford, G.W., Colden, A., & Gazzaniga, M.S. (2007). Empathizing and systemizing cognitive traits in the sciences and humanities. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 619-625.

For several decades, cognitive research on personality and individual differences has focused on psychological traits other than general intelligence. Here we present data on empathizing and systemizing cognitive traits in science and humanities students. In view of existing data on autistic traits in scientists, we hypothesized that the science students would show higher systemizing than empathizing and that the humanities sutdents would show the opposite pattern.

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Focquaert, F., & Platek, S.M. (2007). Social cognition and the evolution of self-awareness. In S.M. Platek, J.P. Keenan & T.K. Shackelford (Eds.), Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience (pp. 457-497). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

This chapter considers the following questions: Which selection pressures allowed human self-awareness to evolve? How are these ultimate explanations related to proximate explanations of human self-awareness? We show that current theories on the possible adaptive benefits of self-awareness (self- and other-related processing) are tightly linked at the proximate level, further validating current ultimate explanations.

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Focquaert, F. (2003). Philosophical thought experiments: Personal identity and its boundaries. Philosophica, 72, 131-152.

The philosophical writings on personal identity through time are known for their extensive use of thought experiments.In the following article I will not ask myself the question if philosophical thought experiments in general are a useful tool or not. What I will do is examine if thought experiments within the philosophy of personal identity through time fulfil their job. Brain swaps, brain state transfers, teletransportation, fission and fusion are common among them.

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