Research Network on Law and Neuroscience Blog

Neuroscience is Changing How and When the Criminal Justice System Punishes Young Adults

Research Network Members Laurence Steinberg, Elizabeth Scott, and BJ Casey were quoted in a recent Newsweek article on the ways in which neuroscience is influencing criminal justice for young adults.  To read the full article, click here.

Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Adolescents, Around the Web, Criminal Law, Neurolaw, Uncategorized


Neurolaw News

The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience distributes an e-newsletter, Neurolaw News, which highlights important items of interest for the neurolaw community.  These include notifications of new publications, news of upcoming neurolaw conferences, and the like.  To avoid inbox clutter, distributions occur approximately once every month.

To subscribe to the newsletter, please visit:  http://www.lawneuro.org/listserv.php

For the latest edition of Neurolaw News, please visit:  http://www.lawneuro.org/listserv.php#archives

Posted by on April 19, 2016 in Addiction, Adolescents, Books, Calls for Papers, Conferences and Events, Criminal Law, Education, Free Will, Lie Detection, Mental Illness, Moral and Legal Responsibility, Neuroethics, Neuroimaging, Neurolaw, Neurolaw in the News, Neuroscience, Popular Press, Prediction, Psychopathy, Recent Neurolaw-related Papers, Uncategorized


Poverty, Violence, and the Developing Mind

The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain and Behavior will host a panel event today titled Poverty, Violence, and the Developing Mind.

“Concentrated poverty is on the rise, and an increasing number of children are at risk for exposure to severe violence and dangerous living conditions. What are the implications of trauma exposure for healthy brain development?

“During this panel event, Dr. Kerry Ressler (of McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School) will discuss the risks poor, urban environments pose for post-traumatic stress disorder, while Dr. Charles A. Nelson (of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School) will discuss the effects of “toxic stress” on early childhood development. Carey Goldberg of WBUR will facilitate the conversation and host the Q&A session with the audience.

“This event will be held on Thursday, March 24, 2016, at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Bornstein Amphitheater, from 7:00-8:30 pm.

Make sure to RSVP before the event!

This event is free and open to the public. A brief reception will precede the event from 6:30-7:00 PM.”

Posted by on March 24, 2016 in Adolescents, Conferences and Events, Neuroethics, Neurolaw, Neuroscience, Uncategorized


When Is an Adolescent an Adult?

A team led by Research Network Member BJ Casey recently published an article in Psychological Science titled “When Is an Adolescent an Adult? Assessing Cognitive Control in Emotional and Nonemotional Contexts.”

Abstract: An individual is typically considered an adult at age 18, although the age of adulthood varies for different legal and social policies. A key question is how cognitive capacities relevant to these policies change with development. The current study used an emotional go/no-go paradigm and functional neuroimaging to assess cognitive control under sustained states of negative and positive arousal in a community sample of one hundred ten 13- to 25-year-olds from New York City and Los Angeles. The results showed diminished cognitive performance under brief and prolonged negative emotional arousal in 18- to 21-year-olds relative to adults over 21. This reduction in performance was paralleled by decreased activity in fronto-parietal circuitry, implicated in cognitive control, and increased sustained activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, involved in emotional processes. The findings suggest a developmental shift in cognitive capacity in emotional situations that coincides with dynamic changes in prefrontal circuitry. These findings may inform age-related social policies.

Citation: Alexandra O. Cohen, Kaitlyn Breiner, Laurence Steinberg, Richard J. Bonnie, Elizabeth S. Scott, Kim A. Taylor-Thompson, Marc D. Rudolph, Jason Chein, Jennifer A. Richeson, Aaron S. Heller, Melanie R. Silverman, Danielle V. Dellarco, Damien A. Fair, Adriana Galván, & B. J. Casey, When Is an Adolescent an Adult? Assessing Cognitive Control in Emotional and Nonemotional Contexts, Psychological Science (2016).

Posted by on March 8, 2016 in Adolescents, Neurolaw, Recent Neurolaw-related Papers, Uncategorized


The Brain Gets Its Day in Court

The Atlantic recently published a piece by Greg Miller titled, “The Brain Gets Its Day in Court” which revolves around a “…new study [which] found that the number of judicial opinions referencing neuroscience as evidence more than doubled between 2005 and 2012.”

To read this recent article, visit: http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/03/neurolaw-brain-scans-court/471615/

Posted by on March 3, 2016 in Around the Web, Neurolaw, Neuroscience, Recent Neurolaw-related Papers, Uncategorized


Personal injury lawyers turn to neuroscience to back claims of chronic pain

The ABA Journal has run a piece by Kevin Davis titled “Personal injury lawyers turn to neuroscience to back claims of chronic pain.”

To read the full article, visit: http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/personal_injury_lawyers_turn_to_neuroscience_to_back_claims_of_chronic_pain

Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Around the Web, Neurolaw, Neuroscience, Recent Neurolaw-related Papers, Uncategorized


Neuroimaging in the Courtroom: A Perspective From the Witness Stand

Penn Neuroscience & Society Public Talk Series (2015-2016):

Neuroimaging in the Courtroom: A Perspective From the Witness Stand
Geoffrey K. Aguirre, MD, PhD, Penn Department of Neurology
March 3, 2016 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

To learn more, visit: http://neuroethics.upenn.edu/event/neuroimaging-in-the-courtroom-a-perspective-from-the-witness-stand/

Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Around the Web, Conferences and Events, Education, Neurolaw, Neuroscience, Uncategorized


Neurolaw News

The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience distributes an e-newsletter, Neurolaw News, which highlights important items of interest for the neurolaw community.  These include notifications of new publications, news of upcoming neurolaw conferences, and the like.  To avoid inbox clutter, distributions occur approximately once every month.

To subscribe to the newsletter, please visit:  http://www.lawneuro.org/listserv.php

For the latest edition of Neurolaw News, please visit:  http://www.lawneuro.org/listserv.php#archives

Posted by on January 18, 2016 in Addiction, Adolescents, Around the Web, Books, Calls for Papers, Conferences and Events, Criminal Law, Education, Free Will, Lie Detection, Mental Illness, Moral and Legal Responsibility, Neuroethics, Neuroimaging, Neurolaw, Neurolaw in the News, Neuroscience, Popular Press, Prediction, Psychopathy, Recent Neurolaw-related Papers, Uncategorized


Research Network Announcements & Awards

We are pleased to announce a variety of news items involving Research Network Members as well as Research Network Scholars:

  1. Faigman Named Acting Chancellor & Dean of UC Hastings: Research Network Member David L. Faigman, the John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Hastings, has been appointed Acting Chancellor & Dean of UC Hastings.  To read the full press release, click here.
  2. Galvan to Receive 2016 Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s Young Investigator Award: Research Network Scholar Dr. Adriana Galvan has been awarded the CNS 2016 Young Investigator Award.  Galvan will give her award lecture on Monday, April 4 in New York. To read more, click here.
  3. Galvan Received 2016 APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award: Dr. Adriana Galvan has also been awarded the APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in the area of Developmental Psychology.  To learn more about this outstanding accolade for scientific achievement, click here.
  4. Jones Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Research Network Director Owen D. Jones has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  To read more about Jones’ work and his selection as a AAAS Fellow, click here.

Posted by on January 7, 2016 in Around the Web, Uncategorized


Fellowship Opportunities at the National Institute of Justice

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is looking for doctoral students with innovative research that aims to solve problems faced by criminal justice practitioners. Apply to be part of one of NIJ’s Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) programs. The deadline is December 15. To learn more, click here.

Posted by on December 14, 2015 in Around the Web, Calls for Papers, Criminal Law, Education, Uncategorized