Photo of Laura Y. Cabrera

Laura Y. Cabrera

Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and Philosophy, and Graduate Programs Officer
Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Neuroethics


  • Engineering Science and Mechanics
  • Center for Neural Engineering
  • Law, Policy, and Engineering

W316 Millennium Science Complex


Research Website

Google Scholar Profile

Research Areas:

Brain Science and Neural Engineering; Neuroethics

Interest Areas:

Ethical, social, and policy implications of neuroscience advances and neurotechnologies.




  • BE, Electrical and Communication Engineering, Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), 2005
  • MA, Applied Ethics, Linkoping University, 2007
  • Ph D, Applied Ethics, Charles Sturt University, 2012


Journal Articles

  • Laura Cabrera, 2024, "The differential effects of psychiatrists' and patients’ prior experiences on views about psychiatric electroceutical interventions", Journal of Psychiatric Research
  • Laura Cabrera, 2023, "Guideline-based care for psychiatric electroceuticals: Results from a National Survey of Board-Certified Psychiatrists", Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
  • Laura Cabrera, 2023, "Looking through the lens of stigma: Understanding and anticipating concerns about the responsible development and use of psychiatric electroceutical interventions (PEIs)", SSM - Mental Health
  • Laura Cabrera, 2023, "Stakeholders’ Ethical Concerns Regarding Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions: Results from a US Nationwide Survey", AJOB Empirical Bioethics
  • Laura Cabrera, 2023, "The influence of prior awareness on views about psychiatric electroceutical interventions among non-clinician stakeholders", npj Mental Health Research
  • Laura Cabrera, 2023, "Ethical Considerations Regarding the Use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Mental Health Practice", Biological Psychiatry
  • Laura Cabrera, 2023, "Brain Data in Context: Are New Rights the Way to Mental and Brain Privacy?", AJOB Neuroscience
  • Robyn Bluhm, Marissa Cortright, Eric D. Achtyes and Laura Cabrera, 2023, "“They Are Invasive in Different Ways.”: Stakeholders’ Perceptions of the Invasiveness of Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions", AJOB Neuroscience, 14, (1), pp. 1-12
  • Laura Cabrera, 2023, "Views about Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions by Stakeholder Group, Treatment Modality, and Depression Severity", Comprehensive Psychiatry, (122)
  • Robyn Bluhm and Laura Cabrera, 2022, "Self-implant ambiguity? Understanding self-related changes in deep brain stimulation", Philosophical Explorations, 25, (3), pp. 367-385
  • P. Datta, Laura Cabrera and Ibrahim Ozbolat, 2022, "Ethical Challenges with 3D Bioprinted Tissues and Organs.", Trends in Biotechnology
  • Laura Cabrera, Maryssa M.C. Miller, Eric D. Achtyes, Aaron M. McCright and Robyn Bluhm, 2022, "Jumping through the hoops: Barriers and other ethical concerns regarding the use of psychiatric electroceutical interventions", Psychiatry Research, 313, pp. 114612
  • A Reuben, E M Manczak, Laura Cabrera, M Alegria, M L Bucher, E C Freeman, G W Miller, G M Solomon and M J Perry, 2022, "The Interplay of Environmental Exposures and Mental Health: Setting an Agenda.", Environmental health perspectives, 130, (2), pp. 25001
  • K. A. Fernandez, R. Hamilton, Laura Cabrera and J. Medaglia, 2022, "Context-dependent Risk & Benefit Sensitivity Mediate Judgments About Cognitive Enhancement.", AJOB Neuroscience, 13, (1)
  • D Alfonso, Laura Cabrera, C Sidiropoulos, F Wang and H Sarva, 2022, "How Parkinson's patients in the USA perceive deep brain stimulation in the 21st century: Results of a nationwide survey.", Journal of clinical neuroscience : official journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia, 95, pp. 20-26
  • M. F. Wyman, Irving Vega, Laura Cabrera, Reza Amini, K. Kim and W. Tarraf, 2022, "Influence of care network characteristics on the physician visit experience for older adults with dementia", Journal of Gerontology
  • Jaime Montemayor, Harini Sarva, Karen Kelly-Blake and Laura Cabrera, 2022, "Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease: Why Earlier Use Makes Shared Decision Making Important", Neuroethics, 15
  • G. Apantaku, P. J. McDonald, M. Aguiar, Laura Cabrera, W. Chiong, M. B. Connolly, V. Hrincu, G. M. Ibrahim, K. J. Kaal, A. Lawson, R. Naftel, E. Racine, A. Safari, M. Harrison and Judy Illes, 2022, "Clinician Preferences for Neurotechnologies in Pediatric Drug Resistant Epilepsy: A Discrete Choice Experiment.", Epilepsy, 6, (9)
  • F. Vitale, J. N. Gelinas and Laura Cabrera, 2022, "Backstory. Neurotechnology: Bridging the Dialogue between Engineers, Material Scientists, Clinicians, and Ethicists", iScience, 25
  • Laura Cabrera, C Young Han, T Ostendorf, J Jimenez-Shahed and H Sarva, 2021, "Neurologists' Attitudes Toward Use and Timing of Deep Brain Stimulation.", Neurology. Clinical practice, 11, (6), pp. 506-516
  • R Bluhm, E Castillo, E D Achtyes, A M McCright and Laura Cabrera, 2021, "They Affect the Person, but for Better or Worse? Perceptions of Electroceutical Interventions for Depression Among Psychiatrists, Patients, and the Public.", Qualitative health research, 31, (13), pp. 2542-2553
  • Laura Cabrera, K. Parker and I. E. Vega, 2021, "Knowledge and Attitudes of two Latino Groups about Alzheimer Disease: a Qualitative Study", Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 36, (3), pp. 265-284
  • Laura Cabrera, Gerald R. Nowak, Aaron M. McCright, Eric Achtyes and Robyn Bluhm, 2021, "A qualitative study of key stakeholders’ perceived risks and benefits of psychiatric electroceutical interventions", Health, Risk & Society, 23, (5-6), pp. 217-235
  • Laura Cabrera and Robyn Bluhm, 2021, "Challenges and Opportunities of Creating Conceptual Maps", AJOB Neuroscience, 12, (2-3), pp. 187-189
  • Laura Cabrera, M MC Gilbert M., A M McCright, E D Achtyes and R Bluhm, 2021, "Beyond the Cuckoo's Nest: Patient and Public Attitudes about Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions.", The Psychiatric quarterly
  • Laura Cabrera, S D Mitchell, A Bender, E Tvedten, C Sidiropoulos and H Sarva, 2021, "Attitudes toward use and timing of deep brain stimulation: a patient's with DBS perspective.", Clinical neurology and neurosurgery, 203, pp. 106553
  • Laura Cabrera, C. Courchesne, M. Bittlinger, S. Müller, R. Martinez, E. Racine and J. Illes, 2021, "Authentic Self and Last Resort: International Perceptions of Psychiatric Neurosurgery", Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 45, (1), pp. 141-161
  • J A Chandler, Laura Cabrera, P Doshi, S Fecteau, J J Fins, S Guinjoan, C Hamani, K Herrera-Ferrá, C M Honey, J Illes, B H Kopell, N Lipsman, P J McDonald, H S Mayberg, R Nadler, B Nuttin, A J Oliveira-Maia, C Rangel, R Ribeiro, A Salles and H Wu, 2021, "International Legal Approaches to Neurosurgery for Psychiatric Disorders.", Frontiers in human neuroscience, 14, pp. 588458
  • P. Testini, H. Sarva, J. Schwalb, S. Barkan and Laura Cabrera, 2021, "Neurosurgeons perspective on the shift towards earlier use of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson disease", Interdisciplinary Neurosurgery: Advanced Techniques and Case Management, 25
  • Laura Cabrera, G. R. Nowak, A. M. McCright, E. Achtyes and R. Bluhm, 2021, "Last Resort Interventions?: A Qualitative Study of Psychiatrists’ Experience with and Views on Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions", Psychiatric Quarterly
  • Aakash A. Dave and Laura Cabrera, 2020, "Osteopathic Medical Students’ Attitudes Towards Different Modalities of Neuroenhancement: a Pilot Study", Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 4, (4), pp. 422-433
  • Nicole Martinez-Martin, Ishan Dasgupta, Adrian Carter, Jennifer A Chandler, Philipp Kellmeyer, Karola Kreitmair, Anthony Weiss and Laura Cabrera, 2020, "Ethics of Digital Mental Health During COVID-19: Crisis and Opportunities", JMIR Mental Health, 7, (12), pp. e23776
  • Laura Cabrera, Karen Kelly-Blake and Christos Sidiropoulos, 2020, "Perspectives on Deep Brain Stimulation and Its Earlier Use for Parkinson’s Disease: A Qualitative Study of US Patients", Brain Sciences, 10, (1), pp. 34
  • Laura Cabrera, 2019, "A human rights approach to low data reporting in clinical trials of psychiatric deep brain stimulation", Bioethics, 33, (9), pp. 1050-1058
  • Laura Cabrera, Charles Sadle and Erin Purcell, 2019, "Neuroethical considerations of high-density electrode arrays", Nature Biomedical Engineering, 3, (8), pp. 586-589
  • Laura Cabrera, Caitlin Courchesne, Zelma H.T. Kiss and Judy Illes, 2019, "Clinical Perspectives on Psychiatric Neurosurgery", Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, 97, (5-6), pp. 391-398
  • Laura Cabrera, Marisa Brandt, Rachel McKenzie and Robyn Bluhm, 2019, "Online comments about psychiatric neurosurgery and psychopharmacological interventions: Public perceptions and concerns", Social Science & Medicine, 220, pp. 184-192
  • Laura Cabrera, 2018, "A Novel Sequential Mixed-method Technique for Contrastive Analysis of Unscripted Qualitative Data: Contrastive Quantitized Content Analysis", Sociological Methods and Research
  • Laura Cabrera, 2011, "Neuroethics: A new way to do ethics or a new understanding of ethics?", AJOB Neuroscience
  • Laura Cabrera, 2011, "They Might Retain Capacities to Consent But Do They Even Care?", AJOB Neuroscience
  • Laura Cabrera, 2010, "Human implants: A suggested framework to set priorities", International Journal of Technoethics, 1, (4), pp. 39-48
  • Laura Cabrera, 2010, "Neurotechnology: the need for neuroethicists.", Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics, 11
  • Laura Cabrera, 2009, "Nanotechnology: Changing the disability paradigm", International Journal of Disability, Community and Rehabilitation, 8, (2)
  • Marissa Cortright, Sandra Chen, Robyn Bluhm, Eric Achtyes, Aaron McCright and Laura Cabrera, , "Perceived Barriers to Using Neurostimulation: A National Survey of Psychiatrists, Patients, Caregivers, and the General Public.", Journal of ECT

Conference Proceedings

  • Laura Cabrera, 2006, "Analysis and recognition of voiced segments of esophageal speech", Proceedings - Electronics, Robotics and Automotive Mechanics Conference, CERMA 2006
  • Laura Cabrera, 2006, "Recognition of vowel segments in Spanish esophageal speech using Hidden Markov models", Proceedings - 15th International Conference on Computing, CIC 2006
  • Noelini Prins, Rebecca Montelone, J. Soldado-Magraner, J. Nash, Michael Young and Laura Cabrera, , "Reexamining the Ethical, Legal, Social, and Cultural Implications for Cochlear Implants Through a Novel Neuroethics Framework", IEEE Xplore


  • Yakeel T Quiroz, Michele Solis, Maria Aranda, Alicia I Arbaje, Mirna Arroyo-Miranda and Laura Cabrera, 2022, "Addressing the disparities in dementia risk, early detection and care in Latino populations: Highlights from the second Latinos & Alzheimer’s Symposium", Alzheimer and Dementia


  • Laura Cabrera, 2023, "Re-Examining Different Stakeholder Views on Changes in Personality: Adding Nuance to the Discussion", AJOB Neuroscience
  • Laura Cabrera, 2023, "Rethinking the ethical priorities for brain–computer interfaces", Nature Electronics
  • Laura Cabrera, 2021, "The Need for Guidance around Recruitment and Consent Practices in Intracranial Electrophysiology Research.", AJOB neuroscience, 12, (1), pp. 1-2

Research Projects

  • September 2018 - August 2022, "Is the treatment perceived to be worse than the disease?: Ethical concerns and attitudes towards psychiatric electroceutical interventions," (Sponsor: NIH).

Honors and Awards

  • Selected as a participant for the 2022 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, National Academy of Engineering, October 2022 - October 2022
  • Named honorific member of the "Asociacion Mexicana de Neuroetica", Asociacion Mexicana de Neuroetica, 2017
  • Abstract award, International Neuroethics Society, 2016
  • Abstract award, International Neuroethics Society, 2014
  • Visiting Research Fellowship, Brocher Foundation, September 2013 - October 2013
  • Elevation to IEEE Senior Member, IEEE, February 2023


Service to Penn State:

  • Contributions to Programs to Enhance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Organizer, Outreach activity with pre-college students at PSU Envision event, February 2024

Service to External Organizations:

  • Participation in or Service to Professional and Learned Societies, Co-Chairperson, Governance Committee Member, International Neuroethics Society, January 2022
  • Participation in or Service to Professional and Learned Societies, Chairperson, Chair, IEEE P7700™ - Recommended Practice for the Responsible Design and Development of Neurotechnologies - Standard Development Group, IEEE SA, November 2022
  • Participation in or Service to Professional and Learned Societies, Chairperson, Chair IEEE BRAIN Neuroethics Subcommittee, IEEE Brain, Neuroethics Subcommittee, January 2021
  • Participation in or Service to Professional and Learned Societies, Board Member, Board member INS, International Neuroethics Society, November 2020



The Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) is an internationally distinguished department that is recognized for its globally competitive excellence in engineering and scientific accomplishments, research, and educational leadership.

Our Engineering Science program is the official undergraduate honors program of the College of Engineering, attracting the University’s brightest engineering students. We also offer graduate degrees in ESM, engineering mechanics, engineering at the nano-scale, and an integrated undergraduate/graduate program.

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