Date of Award

Winter 12-14-2016

Document Type


First Advisor

Deborah McCaw

Second Advisor

Koji Tachibana

Third Advisor

Deborah Schooler


Asian neuroscience and neurotechnology (neuroS/T) research and development will surpass that of the United States and Europe, achieving a 60% increase in overall market growth, within the next decade. One area of ethical interest in neuroS/T involves auditory technologies: cochlear implants, middle ear prosthetics, bone-anchor hearing aids. A survey collected data on Japanese and U.S. attitudes of deafness as a disability, awareness of auditory technologies, and beliefs regarding psychosocial implications of such interventions. This survey is particularly timely because of shifts in attitudes toward these technologies and deaf identity between younger and older Japanese people in the direction of U.S. attitudes. To test this confluence of attitudes, Japanese responses were compared to responses to surveys taken in the U.S. with the aim of expanding beyond limitations of Western philosophy and its characteristic ethical concerns. Results suggest that significant differences exist between Japan and the U.S. regarding knowledge of auditory technology and willingness to accept surgical auditory intervention when measured against age groups. No significant differences were found between the Japanese and U.S. samples on their predictions for a societal shift towards cyborgization and the future of deaf culture. Future applications of this survey should be translated and disseminated in various countries in Asia and the Pacific Islands in order to create self-reflecting and self-revising neuroethical literature.



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