Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015. Novel neurotechnologies, such as brain-computer interfaces (BCI), are generating significant scientific and popular interest. A certain BCI technology, neurofeedback (NF), is increasingly used for managing the symptoms of many conditions, most notably attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although growing evidence suggests that the method is promising, there is no consensus in the scientific literature about its efficacy, and different sources offer contradictory evaluations. Although neurofeedback has received comparatively little scholarly attention from ethicists, it presents numerous dilemmas that warrant consideration. While the method is already widely used and its acceptability can be expected to grow, the precise mechanism of action and possible adverse effects of neurofeedback are poorly understood at present. The current regulatory landscape of neurofeedback devices seems inadequate, and in particular, the growing commercialization of BCIs and lack of oversight over EEG-based toys and games present a challenge for neuroethical analysis.After a brief discussion of ADHD, and the emergence of neurofeedback, this chapter provides an overview of assessments of NF’s efficacy and a brief survey of some of the ethical and social aspects of the method for pediatric ADHD. The questions covered include adverse effects, regulation, responsible communication, identity considerations, and the enhancement use of BCIs.

Original publication





Book title

Handbook of Neuroethics

Publication Date



741 - 762