Killing Them Softly: Neuroscience Reveals How Brain Cells Die from Law School Stress
Debra S Austin
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
March 1, 2013
U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-12
There has been much debate in the academy about the quality and value of legal education. Neuroscience shows that the aggregate educative effects of training to become a lawyer under chronically-stressful conditions may impair the learning capacities of law students by damaging or killing brain cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is critical to learning. The intricate workings of the brain, the ways in which memories become part of a human’s body of knowledge, and the impacts of emotion on this process indicate that stress in law school may kill the very brain cells legal educators are seeking to engage. This article identifies the areas of the brain involved in the learning process and discusses the neuroscience of memory formation and how learning occurs. It describes the difference between emotions and feelings, and examines the impact of stress on learning. It connects the neuroscience with suggestions to maximize cognitive function and better prepare new lawyers.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44working papers series
Date posted: March 3, 2013 ; Last revised: April 2, 2013
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.375 seconds