Ashley Feinsinger, Ph.D.

Ashley is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Her research pursues questions at the intersection of ethics, philosophy of language, and neuroscience, and she has published on a range of topics, including medicalization and the ethics of non-therapeutic research with implanted devices. Funded by the NIH BRAIN Initiative, her neuroethics lab engages with patient-participants in basic neuroscience research to understand motivations for enrollment and interpretations of risk and benefit. Through comparing patient values with those of researchers and the public, her lab addresses conceptual questions about exploitation and trust, as well as practical questions about patient engagement and consent.

Dr. Feinsinger received her undergraduate degrees in philosophy and linguistics and her PhD in philosophy from UCLA.  Additionally, she completed the Advanced Training in Health Care Ethics Certification from the University of Washington and the Medical Education Fellowship in Curriculum Innovation from DGSOM.  She is also the Ethics Theme Chair for the medical school curriculum.


Peabody Smith A, Pouratian N, Feinsinger A. “Two Practices to Improve Informed Consent for Intraoperative Brain Research”, (2023), Neurosurgery, 92:5.

Feinsinger A, Pouratian N. “What ethical issues need to be considered when doing research with patients undergoing invasive electrode implantation?” in Intracranial EEG for Cognitive Neuroscience, (2023) ed. Nikolai Axmacher, Springer International Publishing.

Frederick L. Hitti, Alik S. Widge, Patricio Riva-Posse, Donald A. Malone, Michael S. Okun, Maryam M. Shanechi, Kelly D. Foote, Sarah H. Lisanby, Elizabeth Ankudowich, Srinivas Chivukula, Edward F. Chang, Aysegul Gunduz, Clement Hamani, Ashley Feinsinger, Cynthia S. Kubu, Winston Chiong, Jennifer A. Chandler, Rafael Carbunaru, Binith Cheeran, Robert S. Raike, Rachel A. Davis, Casey H. Halpern, Nora Vanegas-Arroyave, Dejan Markovic, Sarah K. Bick, Cameron C. McIntyre, R. Mark Richardson, Darin D. Dougherty, Brian H. Kopell, Jennifer A. Sweet, Wayne K. Goodman, Sameer A. Sheth, Nader Pouratian. “Future directions in psychiatric neurosurgery: Proceedings of the 2022 American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery meeting on surgical neuromodulation for psychiatric disorders”, (2023), Brain Stimulation, 16:3.

Feinsinger A, Pouratian N, Ebadi H, Adolphs R, Andersen R, Beauchamp MS, Chang EF, Crone E, Collinger J, Fried I, Mamelak A, Richardson M, Rutishauser U, Sheth SA, Suthana N, Tandon N, Yoshor D, on behalf of the NIH Research Opportunities in Humans Consortium. “Ethical Commitments, Principles, and Practices Guiding Intracranial Neuroscientific Research in Humans”, (2022), Neuron. 110:2, pp. 188-194.

Peabody Smith A, Taiclet L, Ebadi H, Levy L, Weber M, Caruso E, Pouratian N, Feinsinger A. “‘They were already inside my head, to begin with’: Trust, Translational Misconception, and Intraoperative Brain Research”, (2022), AJOB Empirical Bioethics. pp. 1-14.

Pham M, Pouratian N, Feinsinger A. “Engagement, Exploitation, and Human Intracranial Electrophysiology Research”, (2022), Neuroethics. 15:25.

Ho E, Murrilla A, Davis L, Iraheta Y, Advani S, Feinsinger A, Waterman A. “Findings of Living donation experiences shared on a digital storytelling platform: A thematic analysis”, (2022), PEC Innovation. 1.

Davis LA, Iraheta Y, Ho E, Murillo A, Feinsinger A, Waterman A. “Living kidneys donation stories and advice shared through a digital storytelling library: a qualitative thematic analysis”, (2022), Kidney Medicine, 4:7.

Feinsinger A, Pham M, and Pouratian N. “The Value of Heterogeneity in Practices to Promote Ethical Research”, (2021), AJOB Neuroscience, 12:1, pp. 80-82.

Farkas-Skiles CM, Feinsinger A, Pines R, Waterman AD. “Providers and Families Weigh in on Delays to Pediatric Kidney Transplant Wait-List Activation”, (2021), Progress in Transplantation. 32:1, pp. 41-48.

Feinsinger A. “The Variation Problem”, (2021), Philosophical Studies, 178, pp. 317-338.

Feinsinger A & Friedell D. “Medicalization and Linguistic Agency”, (2020), Ratio, 33:12, pp. 232-242.

Campelia G & Feinsinger A. “Making Space for Feminist Ethics in Medical School”, (2020), HEC Forum, 32, pp. 111-124.

Feinsinger A. “The Semantic Lexicon and Analyticity”, (2012), UCLA Working Papers in Linguistics, Papers in Semantics, 16, pp. 51-68.