Ethics of decoded neurofeedback in clinical research, treatment, and moral enhancement

Eisuke Nakazawa, Keiichiro Yamamoto, Koji Tachibana, Soichiro Toda, Yoshiyuki Takimoto, Akira Akabayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Decoded neurofeedback is a new technology that allows the improvement or modification of human cognitive and moral capacities and has a wide range of potential applications. As decoded neurofeedback will have an impact on society, ethical concerns about this technology should be examined. As decoded neurofeedback modifies the default mode network due to a voxel-based pattern analysis, it enables a tailor-made intervention. However, it is difficult to assess the safety and efficacy of decoded neurofeedback-based interventions in clinical trials because of a shortage of reliable preclinical data. Decoded neurofeedback used for moral enhancement is a noninvasive intervention with a high selectivity for the targeted brain state, and therefore, moral uniformity, the most often discussed problem, can be avoided. However, it remains uncertain whether decoded neurofeedback is reversible, safe, or efficacious.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-117
Number of pages8
JournalAJOB Neuroscience
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 2


  • decoded neurofeedback
  • enhancement
  • ethics
  • first-in-human clinical trial
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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