Smartphones, smartwatches, other wearable devices and apps are now a part of everyday life. These technologies promise to improve our lives in many ways, through increased work flexibility and making us more connected to friends, family and the wider world.
In continuously monitoring our thoughts, movements, and behaviours, these devices can uncover new insights about the nature of mental illness. Continuous monitoring may enable doctors to better tailor treatments to patients, and to diagnose and potentially prevent disease. The addition of artificial intelligence may be used to prevent suicide or predict future neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease or dementia.
These technologies raise many social, ethical and legal dilemmas:
- Who collects and has access to our data?
- Do we know what is done with our data?
- Who benefits from this?
- Is our privacy at risk?
- Could these data be used to discriminate against vulnerable populations?
- How might our data be used by third parties such as educators, insurers, employers and courts?
Our expert panellists will discuss the virtues and risks of our digital health data being captured and used by others in the age of Facebook, metadata retention laws, Cambridge Analytica and a rapidly evolving neuroscience.
Moderator – Jon Faine, ABC Radio Presenter
- Mr Sven Bluemmel – Victorian Information Commissioner
- Prof Judy Illes – Neuroethics Canada, University of British Columbia, Order of Canada
- Prof Mark Andrejevic – Professor of Media Studies, Monash University
- Ms Vrinda Edan – Chief Operating Officer, Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council
Questions about consciousness have puzzled humanity for centuries.
In a recent Convergence Science Network event held at Monash Biomedical Imaging, Associate Investigator Nao Tsuchiya from the Monash Neuroscience of Consciousness group at Monash University discussed the latest neuroscience research on consciousness. These scientific discoveries may help answer the philosophical questions about consciousness.Watch Video
Short animation contemplates how brain research will change all of our futures…Watch Video
Leading scientists, engineers and philosophers discuss what brain-computer interfaces are and the unique scientific and ethical challenges they pose.Watch Video
Two of the world’s leading brain researchers discuss some of the latest international efforts to understand the brain, followed by a Q and A session with the audience.Watch Video
Dr Nigel Rogasch of the Brain and Mental Health Laboratory at Monash University demonstrates some brain stimulation devices at Zap My Brain, a public forum held May 2015, in Melbourne, Australia.Watch Video
Party. Party. Who says neuroscientists are all work, no play….Watch Video
“Silent. Silent. Then suddenly poop! poop! poop! poop!” Charming video in which Nobel Laureates explain how their prize-winning grid cells create the brain’s very own GPS system.Watch Video
This map of the human brain could be the most accurate yet, as it combines all sorts of different kinds of data. This might finally solve a century of disagreements over the shapes and positions of different brain areas.Watch Video
Magician Nicholas Johnson manipulates your attention… not the cards.Watch Video
Is bigger better? Will a beer or two kill my brain cells? Do drugs put holes in my brain? How many brain cells do I have? Do I use just ten percent of my brain? Is there a sixth sense? And more…Watch Video
This interactive map shows which brain areas respond to hearing different words. The map reveals how language is spread throughout the cortex and across both hemispheres, showing groups of words clustered together by meaning.Watch Video
Memory and identity are explored in this animation by Mari Adams, with sound by Jessi Mynott-Rudland. It won the multimedia/animation category of The Brain Dialogue art competition in 2014.Watch Video
Sydney Symphony Orchestra Chief Conductor David Robertson visits the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Sydney to learn how the listening brain shifts attention to different instruments and dims out the rest, why music makes us dance, and more.Watch Video
Unconscious brains may be more active than thought. This video shows curious turbulent micro-patterns of electrical activity recently discovered in the visual centres of the brains of anaesthetised monkeys.Watch Video
Live demonstration of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS at The Brain Dialogue’s “Zap My Brain” event in Melbourne, 2015.Watch Video
Serotonergic fibers in the ventral horn of the spinal cord of a mouse visualised using a modification of a technique called CLARITY.Watch Video
A computer simulation of the mouse brain is connected to a virtual mouse body. Touch its whiskers and the corresponding brain regions get activated. The model is still pretty basic, but as it is refined it will help lift the veil on how the brain works.Watch Video
The brain is like a city, countless homes, shops, offices, all connected by a massive network of roads: the connectome. It’s the ‘flow’ of information within this network that makes you, you.Watch Video
Ultrashort video shows how the size and shape of the brain changes between four primate species: marmoset, capuchin, macaque, and human. Language and decision-making areas are disproportionally larger in humans (shown in red). Details of the study can be found here.Watch Video
In a nutshell: A new approach based on statistical modelling suggests that brain activity alone could be used to determine levels of consciousness. Read more
In a nutshell: In the earliest stages of visual processing, the brain detects and processes specific visual features by recognising a simple set of patterns. Read more
In a nutshell: The brain shortcuts that help us respond quickly to threats might also be involved in psychiatric disorders like anxiety, ADHD and autism. Read more