September 9, 2016
To Neurolaw News Subscribers:
How does the brain render punishment decisions? Thanks to innovative work by lead author Matthew Ginther , a joint graduate student in law and neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, a just-published study successfully used fMRI brain-scanning techniques to identify and dissociate the four different patterns of brain activities involved in:
1. Evaluating the mental state of a defendant
2. Evaluating the harm the defendant caused
3. Integrating mental state and harm information
4. Deciding a punishment amount
The work – published as “ Parsing the Behavioral and Brain Mechanisms of Third-Party Punishment ” in The Journal of Neuroscience – provides the most detailed information yet of how the brain makes punishment decisions.
The article is a project of The Working Group on Intent and Punishment, led by Research Network Director and principal investigator Owen Jones . The interdisciplinary team on this project, spanning 5 institutions, consisted of: Matthew Ginther, Richard Bonnie, Morris Hoffman, Francis Shen, Ken Simons, Owen Jones, and Rene Marois.
Download the paper here .
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