The human mind and brain are now among the hottest subjects in scientific research. Breakthrough techniques mean we are on the verge of being able to read minds, to control actions direct from the brain, to change or enhance the way our thinking works. Kathleen Taylor explores the astonishing possibilities and the ethical implications.
Kathleen Taylor studied physiology and philosophy at the University of Oxford. After a research MSc at Stirling University, working on brain chemistry, she returned to Oxford to do a DPhil in visual neuroscience and postdoctoral work on cognitive neuroscience. In 2002 she won two writing competitions run by the Times Higher Education Supplement, one for science writing and one for an essay in the humanities/social sciences. She has written on a range of topics from consciousness to cruelty. Her first book, Brainwashing, was published in 2004, her second, Cruelty, in 2009.