The case of fMRI research on anorexia can be seen as emblematic of a broader set of processes which critics have called the ?biologisation? of child development and behaviour. Neuroethicists and sociologists have raised important concerns about young peop le?s exposure to neuroscience technologies and the reductionist accounts of behaviour, capacity and potential they can represent. However, there is no research evidence to support or deny that such exposure creates the kinds of problems for individual pa tients that observers identify.
This study uses an empirical neuroethics approach to explore the relationship of scientific 'facts' (as they are understood by participants) to individual reasoning about moral identity and illness, including personal age ncy and autonomy, responsibility, and treatment acceptability.
15 participants in a scientific fMRI study at the University of Oslo Hospital will be randomly selected for participation in this study. The research design employs qualitative longitudinal research methodology (QLR), combined with narrative analysis. Participants also fill out 2 questionnaires. Questionnaires are administered to participants before each of 2 fMRI scans (at T1 and T2). Semi-structured interviews are held 1-3 weeks after each scan at T1ii and T2ii.
The results of this research will contribute to capacity building in the area of neuroethics, neuroscience and neurotechnology, through the funding of a PhD student. We will also write scholarly articles and make presentations to two sets of audiences: ethicists/social scientists and clinical researchers in eating disorders. We will reach the user and support communities through conferences and a report. This study creates a collaboration between two of Europe's finest universiti es, and between social science and clinical science. Finally, this study focuses on young people's interactions with fMRI, an under-researched area within neurotechnology and neuroethics research.