Andrew H Peterson

Andrew H Peterson

Andrew H Peterson

Assistant Professor

Bioethics, Philosophy of Neuroscience, Consciousness

Andrew Peterson is an Assistant Professor (2016-Present) and Greenwall Faculty Scholar (2018-2021) in the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University. Previously, he was a Crest Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C. (2017) and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar in the Rotman Institute of Philosophy and The Brain and Mind Institute at the University of Western Ontario, Canada (2013-2016). 

Dr. Peterson’s research centers on bioethics and the philosophy of neuroscience, with specialization in ethical and epistemological issues related to the scientific study of consciousness. This work has been funded by the Vanier CGS program, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and the Greenwall Foundation. 

More information about Dr. Peterson's research can be found at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy website, the Rotman Institute for Philosophy website, and the Owen Lab website.

Selected Publications

  1. Peterson A, Tagliazzuchi E, Weijer C. (Forthcoming) The ethics of psychedelic research in disorders of consciousness. Neuroscience of Consciousness.
  2. Peterson A, Owen AM, Karlawish J. (Forthcoming) Alive inside. Bioethics.
  3. Peterson A.(Forthcoming) A critical analysis of Joseph Fins’ mosaic decision making. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
  4. Peterson A.(2018) Should neuroscience inform judgments of decision-making capacity? Neuroethics; 12(2): 133-151.
  5. Peterson A, Bayne T. (2018) Post-comatose disorders of consciousness. In Gennaro R.J. (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Consciousness; Routledge: New York. [15pages]
  6. Peterson A, Bayne T. (2017) A taxonomy for disorders of consciousness that takes consciousness seriously.AJOB-Neuroscience;8(3): 153-155
  7. Cairncross M,Peterson A, Lazosky A, Gofton T, Weijer C. (2016) Assessing decision-making capacity in patients with communication impairments. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics; 25: 691-699.
  8. Peterson A. (2016) Consilience, clinical validation, and global disorders of consciousness. Neuroscience of Consciousness;1(1). DOI: doi:10.1093/nc/niw011 [9pages]
  9. Weijer C, Bruni T, Gofton T, Young B, Norton L, Peterson A, Owen AM. (2016) Ethical considerations in functional magnetic resonance imaging research in acutely comatose patients. Brain; 139(pt1): 292-299.
  10. Graham M, Weijer C, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Gofton T, Gonzalez-Lara L, Lazosky A, Naci L, Norton L, Peterson A, Speechley K, Young B, Owen AM. (2015) An ethics of welfare for patients diagnosed as vegetative with covert awareness. AJOB-Neuroscience; 6(2): 31-41
  11. Peterson A, Cruse D, Naci L, Weijer C, Owen AM. (2015) Risk, diagnostic Error, and the clinical science of consciousness.Neuroimage:Clinical; 7: 588-597.
  12. Graham M, Weijer C, Peterson A, Naci L, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Owen AM. (2015) Acknowledging awareness: informing families of individual research results for patients in vegetative states. Journal of Medical Ethics; 41(7): 534-53
  13. Peterson A, Norton L, Naci L, Owen AM, Weijer C. (2014) Toward a science of brain death. American Journal of Bioethics; 14(8): 29-31.
  14. Peterson A, Thome J, Frewen P, Lanius R. (2014) Resting-state neuroimaging studies: A new way of identifying the differences and similarities among the anxiety disorders?Canadian Journal of Psychiatry; 59(6): 295-300.
  15. Weijer C, Peterson A, Webster F, Graham M, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Gofton T, Gonzalez-Lara L, Lazosky A, Naci L, Owen AM. (2014) Ethics of neuroimaging after serious brain injury. BMC Medical Ethics; 15(41). DOI: 10.1186/1472-6939-15-41. [13 pages]
  16. Peterson A, Naci L, Weijer C, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Graham M, Owen AM.(2013) Assessing decision-making capacity in the behaviorally non-responsive patient with residual covert awareness. AJOB-Neuroscience; 4(4): 3-14.
  17. Peterson A, Naci L, Weijer C, Owen AM. (2013) A principled argument, but not a practical one. AJOB-Neuroscience; 4(1): 52-53.
  18. Peterson A. (2011) The relevance of scientific practice to the problem of coordination. Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science; 5(1): 44-57.

Grants and Fellowships

GRANTS

  1. The Coming Home Project, 2018-2019, National Endowment for the Humanities, PIs: J. Kirkpatrick (Mason) and E. Barrett (US Naval Academy); Co-PI: Peterson
  2. ​The Ethics of Severe Brain Injury, 2018-2021, Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholars Program, PI: Peterson
  3. The Ethics of Neuroimaging After Serious Brain Injury, 2014-2018, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, PIs: C. Weijer (Western) and A.M. Owen (Western); Collaborator: Peterson
  4. Ethical and Epistemological Issues in The New Science of Consciousness, 2013-2016, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholars Program, PI: Peterson

Education

PhD Philosophy, 2016, University of Western Ontario

MA Philosophy, 2011, San Francisco State University

Recent Presentations

  1. Peterson A, Kostick K, Blumenthal-Barby J.Seeing minds in disorders of consciousness patients. (Forthcoming oral presentation). American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Pittsburgh, USA. October, 2019.
  2. Peterson A. Alive Inside: The search for consciousness following severe brain injury. (Invited oral presentation). Neurosurgery Grand Rounds, Baylor College of Medicine. Houston, USA. September, 2019.
  3. Peterson A. Are they really conscious? Responding to criticism of the mental imagery task. (Invited oral presentation). Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine. Houston, USA. September, 2019.
  4. Largent E,Peterson A,Karlawish J.Supported decision making for peopleat the margins of autonomy. (Forthcoming invited panel presentation). Charm City Colloquium on Bioethics and Health Law. Baltimore, USA. September, 2019.
  5. Peterson A, Heilig C. Are therelevels of consciousness? An instrumentalist’s (Poster presentation). Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. London, Canada. June, 2019.
  6. Peterson A. Erring on the side of consciousness. (Invited symposium presentation; Chair: J. Fins). Neuroethics Network Meeting, ICM Brain and Spine Institute. Paris, France. June, 2019.
  7. Peterson A, Kostick K, Blumenthal-Barby J. Seeing minds in disorders of consciousness patients. (Invited oral presentation). Trinity College DublinDisorders of Consciousness WDublin,Ireland. April, 2019.
  8. Peterson A. Alive inside: The ethics of neuroimaging after severe brain injury. (Invited oral presentation). Penn Program in Precision Medicine for the BrainSymposium. University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, USA. March, 2019.
  9. Eckenwiler L, Dade A, DiTeresi C, Peterson A. A novel model for transforming RCR: Responsible connected conduct of research. (Oral presentation). Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. Baltimore, USA. March, 2019.
  10. DiTeresi C, Eckenwiler L, Peterson A. Practically-oriented frameworks for promoting responsible conduct of research. (Oral presentation). Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. Baltimore, USA. March, 2019.
  11. Peterson A. Should neuroscience inform judgments of decision-making capacity? (Invited oral presentation). NIH1st Year Bioethics Fellows Seminar. Bethesda, USA. December, 2018.
  12. Peterson A, Aas S, Wasserman D. What justifies the prioritization of healthcare resources for patients with severe brain injury? (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. San Diego, USA. November, 2018.Top Abstract Award
  13. Peterson A. A critical analysis of mosaic decision making. (Invited symposium presentation; Chairs: J. Fins and L. Naccache). Neuroethics Network Meeting, ICM Brain and Spine Institute. Paris, France. June, 2018.
  14. Peterson A. Ethics, machine learning, and disorders of consciousness. (Invited oral presentation). Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Ashburn, USA. March, 2018.
  15. DeFranco J, Peterson A. An analysis of disparities in methods for determining brain death across U.S. medical centers. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington D.C., USA. November, 2017.
  16. Denton SW, Eckenwiler L, Peterson A. Remembering Trauma: The ethical implications of memory dampening for sexual assault survivors. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington D.C., USA. November, 2017.Top Abstract Award
  17. Downes P, Peterson A. Ethical issues in pharmacological research in disorders of consciousness. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington D.C., USA. November, 2017.Top Abstract Award
  18. Kluck M, Peterson A. Ethical considerations for fMRI research involving human fetuses in utero. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington D.C., USA. November, 2017.Top Abstract Award
  19. Kirkpatrick J, Barrett E, Peterson A. Coming Home: Dialogues on the moral, psychological, and spiritual impacts of war. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington D.C., USA. November, 2017.
  20. Neely C, Peterson A. A Bayesian framework for disorders of consciousness research. (Poster presentation). Society for Neuroscience.Washington D.C., USA. November, 2017.
  21. Peterson A. Ethical and legal considerations for medical professionals in the prevention of organ trafficking. (Oral presentation). Organ Trafficking Workshop: Policy, Modeling, and Ethical Perspectives. Schar School for Policy and Government. Washington D.C., USA. March, 2017.
  22. Peterson A. Finding consciousness following catastrophic brain injury. (Invited oral presentation). Center for Neural Informatics, Neural Structures, and Neural Plasticity. Krasnow Institute for Advanced Studyat George Mason University.Washington D.C., USA. November, 2016
  23. Stephenson M, Peterson A, Weijer C. Are organ donors really dead? Or just dead enough? (Oral presentation). Canadian Bioethics Society. Toronto, Canada. May, 2016.
  24. Peterson A. Unlocking their voices: The ethics of neuroimaging consciousness. (Invited oral presentation). Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, George Mason University. Washington D.C., USA. March, 2016
  25. Peterson A. Ethical challenges of seeking informed consent from the severely brain-injured person. (Oral presentation). American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, Society for Philosophy and Disability. San Francisco, USA. March, 2016.
  26. Peterson A, Weijer C, Owen AM. Clinical validation studies and the science of consciousness. (Poster presentation). Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. Paris, France. July, 2015.
  27. Peterson A, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Bruni T, Weijer C, Owen AM. A framework for comparing neuroimaging techniques used to assess disorders of consciousness. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington D.C., USA. November, 2014.
  28. Weijer C, Bruni T, Gofton T, Norton L,Peterson A, Young GB, Owen AM. Ethical issues in fMRI research in patients with severe brain injuries in the intensive care unit. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington D.C., November, 2014.
  29. Graham M, Weijer C, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Gonzalez-Lara L, Peterson A, Speechley K, Owen AM. Evaluating subjective well-being in patients diagnosed as vegetative with covert awareness. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington D.C., USA. November, 2014.
  30. Weijer C, Graham M, Peterson A, Naci L, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Gonzalez-Lara L, Owen AM. Acknowledging awareness: Informing families of research results for patients in the vegetative state. (Oral presentation). Canadian Bioethics Society. Vancouver, Canada. May, 2014.
  31. Graham M , Weijer C,Peterson A, Naci L, Fernández-Espejo D, Cruse D, Lazosky A, Gonzalez-Lara L, Owen AM. Communication with patients diagnosed with disorders of consciousness, and the moral significance of sentience. (Oral presentation). Canadian Bioethics Society. Vancouver, Canada. May, 2014. 
  32. Peterson A, Naci L, Weijer C, Benmordecai D, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Gofton T, Gonzalez-Lara L, Lazosky A, Speechley K, Young B, Owen AM. Is itpossible to assess decision-making capacity in the disorders of consciousness patient? (Oral presentation). Canadian Bioethics Society. Vancouver, Canada. May, 2014.
  33. Weijer C,Peterson A, Naci L, Graham M, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Lazosky A, Owen AM. Why discussion of end-of-life decisions through BCIs starts the ethical debate off on the wrong foot. (Oral presentation). Brain Matters 4. Vancouver, Canada. March, 2014.
  34. Graham M, Weijer C,  Peterson A, Naci L, Fernández-Espejo D, Cruse D, Lazosky A, Gonzalez-Lara L, Owen AM. Communication with patients diagnosed with disorders of consciousness, and the moral significance of sentience. (Oral presentation). Brain Matters 4. Vancouver, Canada. March, 2014.
  35. Peterson A, Cruse D, Naci L, Fernández-Espejo D, Graham M, Lazosky A, Weijer C, Owen AM. Ethical challenges in deriving the clinical utility of EEG for diagnosis of the vegetative state. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. San Diego, USA. November, 2013.
  36. Graham M , Weijer C, Peterson A, Naci L, Fernández-Espejo D, Cruse D, Lazosky A, Gonzalez-Lara L, Owen AM. Communication with patients diagnosed with disorders of consciousness, and the moral significance of sentience. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. San Diego, USA. November, 2013.
  37. Weijer C, Peterson A, Naci L, Graham M, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Lazosky A, Owen AM. Why discussion of end-of-life decisions through brain computer interfaces starts the ethical debate off on the wrong foot. (Oral and poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. San Diego, USA. November, 2013.Top Abstract Award
  38. Peterson A. The brain at war: ethical and epistemic implications of beta-blocker therapy for combat-induced psychiatric injury. (Poster presentation). Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. San Diego, USA. July, 2013.
  39. Peterson A. Assessing decision-making capacity in disorders of consciousness. (Oral presentation). Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. San Diego, USA. July, 2013.
  40. Peterson A. The brain at war: ethical and epistemic implications of beta-blocker therapy for combat-induced psychiatric injury. (Poster presentation). Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Providence, USA. June, 2013.
  41. Peterson A, Weijer C, Naci L, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Shriver A, Graham M, Owen AM. Are you in pain? Attending to the sentience of the disorder of consciousness patient. (Poster presentation). The Canadian Association of Neuroscience. Toronto, Canada. May, 2013.
  42. Peterson A. Moral dimensions of operational stress injury. (Oral presentation). Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research Workshop. London, Canada. November, 2012.
  43. Peterson A, Naci L, Weijer C, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Graham M, Owen AM. Ethical implications of detecting awareness in VS: Question asking through a binary interface. (Oral presentation). Brain Matters 3. Cleveland, USA. October, 2012.
  44. Graham M, Peterson A, Naci L, Weijer C, Cruse D, Fernández-Espejo D, Owen AM. Ethical implications of disclosing research results to patients’ families in disorder of consciousness research. (Oral presentation). Brain Matters 3. Cleveland, USA. October, 2012.
  45. Peterson A. Ethical implications of detecting covert awareness in disorders of consciousness. (Oral presentation) The Hastings Center VisitingScholar L New York, USA. June, 2012.
  46. Peterson A. Neurophysiology and the warrior ethos. (Poster presentation). Western University Research Day. London, USA. March, 2012.
  47. Peterson A. Comments on ‘Compounded Vulnerabilities in Social Institutions: Vulnerabilities as Kinds’. (Oral presentation). Diotima Feminist Philosophy Conference. London, Canada. September, 2011.
  48. Peterson A. Philosophical theories about the organization of selfhood. (Invited oral presentation). UCSFPsychiatry Residents Seminar. San Francisco, USA. August, 2011.
  49. Peterson A. Virtue ethics, stoicism, and the warrior ethos. (Invited oral presentation). UCSF Veterans Health Program. San Francisco, USA. March, 2011.
  50. Peterson A. Could theory-free scientific inquiry lead to the biomedical breakthrough of prion diseases? I think not. (Oral presentation). San Francisco State University Graduate Student Lecture Series. San Francisco, USA. May,
  51. Peterson A. From puerperal fever to kuru: deciphering the conditions for the possibility of scientific breakthrough. (Oral presentation). San Francisco State University Graduate Student Research Competition. San Francisco, USA. February, 2010.
  52. Peterson A. Comments on ‘The World Thinking Itself: Heideggerian Themes From Categorical Intuition to ‘The Origin of the Work of Art.’” (Oral presentation). American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division. Vancouver, Canada. April, 2009.

In the Media

AAAS Eureka AlertMason philosophy professor explores the ethics of severe brain injury. 2018

CBC Radio, Ideas From the Trenches. The open mind. 2016

The New Scientist. Portable mind reader gives voice to locked-in people. 2015

San Francisco State University. Philosophy alumnus spotlight. 2014

Western University. Philosophical implications of the new science of consciousness. 2013

Foundation Western. Collaborative spirit benefits graduate student. 2013

Rotman Institute of Philosophy. Philosophy and combat stress. 2012