From technologies which allow the brain to directly control computers to using electricity to enhance brain function, the way technology can “intervene” in the brain is being reviewed.
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has launched a public consultation on the ethics of the technology.
Applications range from medicine to warfare and even human enhancement.
Some techniques such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) are already used by thousands of patients.
Prof Thomas Baldwin, from the University of York, is leading the study. He said there had a long history of altering the brain from trepanning – drilling holes in the skull – thousands of years of ago to surgical lobotomies.