Photo of Laura Cabrera

Laura Cabrera

Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and Philosophy
Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Career 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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Robyn Bluhm, Marissa Cortright, Eric D. Achtyes and Laura Cabrera, 2021, "“They Are Invasive in Different Ways.”: Stakeholders’ Perceptions of the Invasiveness of Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions", AJOB Neuroscience, pp. 1-12
  • 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)

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


  • 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, 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

  • 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


Service to Penn State:

Service to External Organizations:

  • 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.

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

212 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4523