Stimulating good practice - What an embodied cognition approach could mean for Deep Brain Stimulation practice

American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 5 (4) (2014)
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We whole-heartedly agree with Mecacci and Haselager(2014) on the need to investigate the psychosocial effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS), and particularly to find out how to prevent adverse psychosocial effects. We also agree with the authors on the value of an embodied, embedded, enactive approach (EEC) to the self and the mind–brain problem. However, we do not think this value primarily lies in dissolving a so-called “maladaptation” of patients to their DBS device. In this comment, we challenge three central claims of the authors on the basis of our direct experience with psychosocial effects of DBS in 45 obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) patients treated at the AMC in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and our indepth qualitative interviews with 18 of them (de Haan et al. 2013). We end our comment by sketching out our perspective on the practical merits of an EEC approach to DBS.

Author Profiles

Erik Rietveld
University of Amsterdam
Sanneke De Haan
Tilburg University


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