Law and Neuroscience

Law and Neuroscience

Judge Nancy Gertner
Spring 2018 seminar
W 5:15pm - 7:15pm
2 classroom credits

Prerequisites: By permission of the instructor.

Exam: No Exam.

This seminar examines cutting edge and even controversial linkages between law and neuroscience. We seek to highlight neuroscientific basis for behavior patterns with legal implication including how neuroscience intersects with criminal law, its normative assumptions and criminal punishment, evidentiary rules, memory bias and enhancement, lie and deception detection, adolescent brains and juvenile law. We will look critically at efforts to use neuroimaging in court in connection with in the prediction of criminality and predispositions towards mental illness and addiction, as well as efforts to identify neurobiological influences on the brain. Is there such a thing as a criminally violent brain? Does it make sense to speak of the neurobiology of violence or the psychopathology of crime, and how are (or should) such concepts translated into criminal law. The seminar will necessarily lead us to consider the relationship between law and science, more generally, and neuroscience in particular. Speakers will provide insights into their work and research.

Subject Areas: Disciplinary Perspectives & Law, Criminal Law & Procedure