Laura Cabrera

Laura Cabrera photo

Assistant Professor

Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences

Department of Translational Neuroscience

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy
Faculty Affiliate, College of Law
Faculty Affiliate, Neuroscience Program, College of Natural Science
Faculty Affiliate, National Core for Neuroethics at University of British Columbia

C-211 East Fee Hall
(517) 355-7553
cabrer22 @

PhD 2012 Charles Sturt University
MA 2008 Linköping Universitet
MA 2007 Linköping Universitet
BS 2005 Instituto Technologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

Curriculum Vitae
MSU Scholars Profile
Research Gate Profile


Laura Cabrera's interests focus on the ethical and societal implications of neurotechnology and neuroscientific advances. She has been working on projects that explore the media coverage and the attitudes of the general public toward pharmacological and novel neurosurgical interventions for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. She has also worked on the public perceptions towards the use of different modalities of neuromodifiers for enhancement purposes, as well as their normative implications.

Her current work also focuses on the ethical and social implications of environmental changes for brain and mental health.

Current Research Projects

Selected Publications

Cabrera LY, Boyce HMK, McKenzie R, Bluhm R. Conflicts of interest and industry professional relationships in psychiatric neurosurgery: a comparative literature review. Neurosurgical Focus. August 2018;45(2):E20. DOI: 10.3171/2018.4.FOCUS17399.

Cabrera LY, Goudreau J, Sidiropoulos C. Critical appraisal of the recent US FDA approval for earlier DBS intervention. Neurology. 2018. Available online June 13, 2018.

Eijkholt M, Cabrera LY, Ramirez-Zamora A, Pilitsis JG. Shaking Up the Debate: Ensuring the Ethical Use of DBS Intervention Criteria for Mid-Stage Parkinson's Patients. Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. Available online May 11 2017. July 2017;20(5):411-416.

Cabrera LY. Rethinking Human Enhancement: Social Enhancement and Emergent Technologies. London: Palgrave Macmillan; 2015.

Cabrera L, Reiner P. Understanding public (mis)understanding of tDCS for enhancement. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. Apr 2015;9(30).


Cabrera L, Fitz N, Reiner P.B. Reasons for comfort and discomfort with pharmacological enhancement of cognitive, affective, and social domain. Neuroethics. Aug 2015;8(2):93-106. DOI: 10.1007/s12152-014-9222-3.

Cabrera L. How does enhancing cognition affect human values? How does this translate into social responsibility? In: Ohl F, Lee G, Illes J, eds. Ethical Issues in Behavioral Neuroscience: Springer; 2015:223-241.

Cabrera L, Weckert J. Human Enhancement and Communication: on Meaning and shared understanding. Science and Engineering Ethics. Sept 2013;19(3):1039-1056.

Selected Achievements and Awards

College of Human Medicine Teacher-Scholar Award, 2018. Read More

2018-2022: National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative grant award (PI: Laura Cabrera), Is the Treatment Perceived to be Worse than the Disease?: Ethical Concerns and Attitudes towards Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions. Read More

2018-2019: National Institute on Aging grant award (MSU PI: Laura Cabrera), Latinos Perceptions and Concerns about Alzheimer Disease. Read More

2016-2018: International Neuroethics Society Response Action Task Force.

2016-2017: Michigan State University Science and Society at State Collaborative Grant Award, (PI: Laura Cabrera. Co-PIs: Robyn Bluhm, Mark Reimers), Psychiatric Interventions: Values and Public Attitudes. Read More

2014: Abstract Award: Travel stipend for the International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting and abstract, “Substantive Discrepancies Between Academic and Public Concerns Regarding the Ethics of Neuroenhancement” (INS Abstract # 78).

2013: Brocher Foundation. Visiting research fellowship at the Brocher Foundation on the project ‘Legal and ethical issues around animal-human chimera research (the case of human neuro-related material use in non-human primates).’

2011: Singularity University Graduate Student Program Grant (June-August).