Research


My scholarly work is in research and clinical ethics in the fields of neuro- and bioethics, as well as in philosophy of medicine.

Within neuroethics I work on both research and clinical issues. The rapid rise of neurotechnologies in research settings, in the clinic, and as consumer products generates both challenges and opportunities. Brain-computer interfaces, deep-brain stimulation, personal neurostimulation devices, wearable technology, mental health apps, and virtual and augmented reality raise safety, security, privacy, well-being, autonomy, and authenticity concerns. At the same time, they also provide opportunities, notably for informed consent and participant engagement in research. Beyond working on traditional problems, such as threats to privacy precipitated by the generation of massive amounts of sensitive data and problematic ascriptions of responsibility in certain brain-computer interface scenarios, I am particularly interested in the interplay between neurotechnologies and human flourishing. I argue that neurotechnologies often affect the epistemic relation between a cognizer and the world she occupies in ways that may be precarious for authentic living. 

Thanks to my PhD research in philosophy of mind and cognitive science, and my clinical ethics work at Stanford, I have found the ethics of neurological disorders particularly interesting, including the practical implications of the minimally conscious state (MCS) diagnosis and issues surrounding deep brain stimulation (DBS), specifically concerning effects of self-estrangement.

Within research ethics, I am interested in citizen science and gaming within the context of de-professionalization and democratization of biomedical research. I am working on analysis of the role responsibilities and obligations implicated in these new practices, in order to provide guidelines that safeguard that such research is carried out in a non-exploitative, ethical manner.

As neurological imaging improves and is used more widely in clinical and research contexts,it is increasingly given precedence over other epistemic methods, such as clinical examination. Thus, for instance, brain scans are increasingly called upon in the determination of neurological conditions, even when such states are explicitly defined behaviorally. This, I argue, reveals a certain biased reductive epistemology, that privileges evidence considered to be closer to the reductive base of a phenomenon over evidence that may in fact be more reliably correlated with the phenomenon. I am working on an account of how reductive epistemology is present throughout the biomedical sciences, including neurology, personalized health technology, and forensic neuroscience. 

Publications

Kreitmair, K. (2019) “Neuroprosthetic Speech: Pragmatics, Norms, and Self-Fashioning”, CambridgeQuarterly: Clinical Neuroethics, 28 (4).

Kreitmair, K., and Magnus, D. (2019) “Citizen Science and Gamification”, Hastings Center Report, 49(2). 

Martinez, N., and Kreitmair, K. (2018). "Ethical Issues for Direct-to-Consumer Digital Psychotherapy Apps: Addressing Accountability, Data Protection, and Consent", JMIR mental health, 5(2).

Kreitmair, K, (2018) “Phenomenological Considerations of Sex-Tracking Technology”, AmericanJournal of Bioethics, 18 (2), 31-33

Kreitmair, K., and Cho, M. (2017) “The Neuroethical Future of Wearables and Mobile Health Technology” in Judy Illes (ed) Neuroethics: Anticipating the Future, Second Edition, OxfordUniversity Press

Kreitmair, K. (2017) “Two Concerns Regarding Subjectively Perceived Self-Estrangement” American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience,8 (2), 124-125

Kreitmair, K., Magnus, D., and Cho, M. (2017) “Wearable and mobile health technology: Consent and engagement, security, and authentic living”, Nature Biotechnology, 35 (7), 617-620

Kreitmair, K. and Kruse, K. (2017) “Practical Implications of the Minimally Conscious State Diagnosis in Adults”, Cambridge Quarterly, “Clinical Neuroethics”, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2017

Kreitmair, K., (2016). “Memory Manipulation in the Context of Punishment and Atonement.” AmericanJournal of Bioethics - Neuroscience, 7 (4), 238-240

Kreitmair, K., (2016). “Beyond Withdrawing and Withholding.” American Journal of Bioethics, 16 (7),22-24

Kreitmair, K., (2016). “The Confidence Criterion in Big Neuroscience Authorship.” American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience, 7 (1), 24-26

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