“Deception of Subjects in Neuroscience: An Ethical Analysis”

“Deception is a common feature of research design in neuroscience, which is adopted to promote scientific validity. Nevertheless, it is ethically controversial because it compromises informed consent. Scientific articles publishing the results of deceptive research typically do not explicitly mention that deception was used and include misleading statements that informed consent was obtained from the research participants. In this article, we illustrate this lack of transparency regarding deception in neuroscience with respect to three recent examples of research on, or related to, the placebo effect. We recommend two procedures for promoting the autonomy of research participants in studies involving deception as well as publication guidelines for scientific journals relating to deceptive research.”

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