Ethics of neuromodulation

Short description

This research project investigates ethical issues of neuromodulation interventions, in particular deep brain stimulation.

Collaborating institutes

  • PD Dr. Sabine Müller; Charité - Universitätsklinik Berlin (research section Mind and Brain)

Involved NET group researchers

Christian Ineichen


Currently, this project receives no specific funding. Past funding has been provided by the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (“Deep Brain Stimulation in Switzerland”, “Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation on the Moral Agency of Patients”; M. Christen was main applicant) and the Swiss Parkinson Association (“Clinical and ethical issues of deep brain stimulation”, M. Christen was main applicant).


  • Ineichen C, Christen M (2017): Hypo- and hyperagentic psychiatric states, next-generation closed loop DBS and the question of agency. AJOB Neuroscience 8(2): 77-79
  • Christen M, Müller S (2017): The Ethics of Expanding Applications of Deep Brain Stimulation. In: Rommelfanger K, Johnson S (eds.): Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. Routledge, New York, 51-65
  • Christen M, Müller S (eds.) (2017): The Clinical and Ethical Practice of Neuromodulation – Deep Brain Stimulation and Beyond. Lausanne: Frontiers Media. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88945-373-3
  • Christen M (2016): Klinische und ethische Fragen der Neuromodulation. In: Jox RJ, Erbguth F (eds.): Praktische Fragen der Neuromedizin, Springer, Berlin, 117-128
  • Ineichen C, Baumann-Vogel H, Christen M (2016): Deep Brain Stimulation: In search of reliable instruments for assessing complex personality-related changes. Journal of Brain Sciences 6: 40, doi:10.3390/brainsci6030040
  • Glannon W, Ineichen C (2016): Philosophical Aspects of Closed-Loop-Neuroscience. In: El Hady A (ed.): Closed Loop Neuroscience. Elsevier: 259-270
  • Müller S, Riedmüller R, Walter H, Christen M (2015): An ethical evaluation of stereotactic neuro-surgery for anorexia nervosa. American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience 6(4): 50-65
  • Ineichen C, Christen M (2015): Analyzing 7000 texts on Deep Brain Stimulation: what do they tell us? Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 9: Article 52
  • Christen M, Müller S (2015): Effects of brain lesions on moral agency: Ethical dilemmas in investigating moral behavior. In: Ohl F, Lee G, Illes J (eds.): Ethical Issues in Behavioural Neuroscience. Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience 5. Berlin: Springer, 159-188
  • Ineichen C, Glannon W, Temel Y, Baumann CR, Sürücü O (2014): A critical reflection on the technological development of deep brain stimulation (DBS). Frontiers in human neuroscience 8: 730
  • Müller S, Christen M, Walter H (2014): DBS combined with optogenetics – fine-tuning the mind? AJOB Neuroscience 5(1): 35-37
  • Christen M, Ineichen C, Bittlinger M, Bothe H-W, Müller S (2014): Ethical Focal Points in the International Practice of Deep Brain Stimulation. American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience 5(4): 65-80 (IF: 3.597, 2012)
  • Müller S, Walter H, Christen M (2014): When benefitting a patient increases the risk for harm for third persons – the case of treating pedophilic Parkinsonian patients with deep brain stimulation. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 37: 295-303 (IF 0.704, 2012)
  • Christen M, Müller S (2013): Expanding DBS indications: Reminder of the consequences of establishing a therapeutic practice. AJOB Neuroscience 4(2): 57-58
  • Müller S, Christen M (2012): Manipulierbare Persönlichkeit? Zur Veränderbarkeit von Charakter und Verhalten durch Tiefe Hirnstimulation [Manipulating personality? Changing behavior and character when using deep brain stimulation]. In: Fink H, Rosenzweig R (eds.): Verantwortung als Illusion. Paderborn: Mentis-Verlag, 135-151
  • Christen M, Müller S (2012): Current status and future challenges of deep brain stimulation in Switzerland. Swiss Medical Weekly 142: w13570
  • Christen M, Bittlinger M, Walter H, Brugger P, Müller S (2012): Dealing with Side Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation: Lessons Learned from Stimulating the STN. American Journal of Bioethics - Neuroscience 3(1): 37-43
  • Christen M, Müller S (2011): Single cases promote knowledge transfer in the field of DBS. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, May 2011, 5, Article 13 (not listed in the Journal Citation Reports)
  • Müller S, Christen M (2011): Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinsonian patients – Ethical evaluation of stimulation-induced personality alterations. American Journal of Bioethics - Neuroscience 2(1): 3-13
  • Müller S, Christen M (2010): Mögliche Persönlichkeitsveränderungen durch Tiefe Hirnstimulation bei Parkinson-Patienten [Possible personality alternations resulting from Deep Brain Stimulation]. Nervenheilkunde 29(11): 779-783