Philosophy
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Andrew H Peterson

Andrew H Peterson

Andrew H Peterson

Research Assistant Professor

Bioethics, Philosophy of Neuroscience, Consciousness

Andrew Peterson is a Research Assistant Professor in the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University and Affiliate Member of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. Previously, he was a CReST Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (2017) and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar in the Rotman Institute of Philosophy and the Brain and Mind Institute (2013-2016). His doctoral research was supervised by Professors Charles Weijer, Canada Research Chair in Bioethics, and Adrian M. Owen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Neuroscience and Imaging.

Dr. Peterson’s research centers on bioethics and the philosophy of neuroscience. His work is embedded in a Canadian Institutes for Health Research-funded project entitled, The Ethics of Neuroimaging After Serious Brain Injury. This work engages ethical and epistemological issues related to the scientific study of consciousness and severe brain injury.

Selected Publications

Peterson A, Bayne T. (Forthcoming) Global disorders of consciousness. In Gennaro R.J. (ed.) Routledge Companion to Consciousness; Routledge: New York. [15-pages] 

Peterson A, Bayne T. (2017) A taxonomy for disorders of consciousness that takes consciousness seriously. AJOB-Neuroscience. 8(3): 153-55

Peterson A, Kirkpatrick J, Boehm-Davis DA. (2017) Developing ethical, legal, and policy analyses relevant to the use of machine learning algorithms in national security. (White paper submitted to the National Academies Social and Behavioral Sciences Decadal Survey on behavioral sciences and national security). [4-pages]

Cairncross M, Peterson A, Lazosky A, Gofton T, Weijer C. (2016) Assessing decision-making capacity in patients with communication impairments. Cambridge Quarterly in Healthcare Ethics; 25: 691-699.

Peterson A. (2016) Consilience, clinical validation, and global disorders of consciousness. Neuroscience of Consciousness. 1(1). DOI: doi:10.1093/nc/niw011 [9-pages]

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.

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. American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience; 6(2): 31-41

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.

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): 534-8.

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.

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.

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. Bio-Med Central Medical Ethics; 15(41). doi: 10.1186/1472-6939-15-41. [13 pages]

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. American Journal of Bioethics-Neuroscience; 4(4): 3-14.

Peterson A, Naci L, Weijer C, Owen AM. (2013) A principled argument, but not a practical one. American Journal of Bioethics -Neuroscience; 4(1): 52-53.

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.

 

Education

PhD Philosophy, 2016, University of Western Ontario

MA Philosophy, 2011, San Francisco State University

Recent Presentations

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 DC, USA. November, 2017.

Denton SW, Eckenwiler L, Peterson A. Remembering Trauma: The ethical implications of memory dampening for sexual assault survivors. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington DC, USA. November, 2017.

Downes P, Peterson A. Ethical issues in pharmacological research in disorders of consciousness. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington DC, USA. November, 2017.

Kluck M, Peterson A. Ethical considerations for fMRI research involving human fetuses in utero.  (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington DC, USA. November, 2017.

Kirkpatrick J, Barrett E, Peterson A. Coming Home: Dialogues on the moral, psychological, and spiritual impacts of war. (Poster presentation). International Neuroethics Society. Washington DC, USA. November, 2017.

Neely C, Peterson A. A bayesian framework for disorders of consciousness research. (Poster presentation). Society for Neuroscience. Washington DC, USA. November, 2017.

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.

Peterson A. Finding consciousness following catastrophic brain injury. (Invited oral presentation). Center for Neural Informatics, Neural Structures, and Neural Plasticity. Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study. Washington D.C., USA. November, 2016

Stephenson M, Peterson A, Weijer C. Are organ donors really dead? Or just dead enough? (Oral presentation). Canadian Bioethics Society. Toronto, Canada. May, 2016.

Peterson A. Unlocking their voices: The ethics of neuroimaging consciousness. (Invited oral presentation). Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, George Mason University. Washington DC, USA. March, 2016.

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. 

Peterson A, Weijer C, Owen AM. Clinical validation studies and the science of consciousness. (Poster presentation). Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness 19th Annual Meeting. Paris, France. July, 2015.

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 DC, USA. November, 2014.

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 DC, November, 2014.

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 DC, USA. November, 2014.

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.

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.

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 is possible to assess decision making capacity in the disorders of consciousness patient? (Oral presentation). Canadian Bioethics Society. Vancouver, Canada. May, 2014.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 17th Annual Meeting. San Diego, USA. July, 2013.

Peterson A. Assessing decision making capacity in disorders of consciousness. (Oral presentation). Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness 17th Annual Meeting. San Diego, USA. July, 2013.

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.

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.

Peterson A. Moral dimensions of operational stress injury. (Oral presentation). Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research Workshop. London, Canada. November, 2012.

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.

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.

Peterson A. Ethical implications of detecting covert awareness in disorders of consciousness. (Oral presentation) Hastings Center visiting scholar lecture series. New York, USA. June, 2012.

Peterson A. Ethical implications of detecting covert awareness in disorders of consciousness. (Oral presentation) The Hastings Centre. New York, USA. June, 2012.

Peterson A. Psychophysiology and the warrior ethos. (poster presentation). Western University Research Day. London, USA. March, 2012.

Peterson A. Comments on ‘Compounded Vulnerabilities in Social Institutions: Vulnerabilities as Kinds’. (Oral presentation). Diotima Conference. London, Canada. September, 2011.

Peterson A. Philosophical theories about the organization of self-hood. (Invited oral presentation). University of California, San Francisco Psychiatry Residents Seminar. San Francisco, USA. August, 2011.

Peterson A. Virtue ethics, stoicism, and the warrior ethos. (Invited oral presentation). University of California, San Francisco Veterans Health Program. San Francisco, USA. March, 2011.

Peterson A. Could theory free scientific inquiry lead to the biomedical breakthrough of prion disease propagation? I think not. (Oral presentation). San Francisco State University Graduate Student Lecture Series. San Francisco, USA. May 2011.

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.

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

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