Law and Neuroscience (2d ed. 2021)

43 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2014 Last revised: 4 Apr 2024

See all articles by Owen D. Jones

Owen D. Jones

Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences

Jeffrey D. Schall

York University

Francis X. Shen

University of Minnesota Law School; MGH Center for Law, Brain & Behavior

Date Written: January 1, 2021


This provides the Summary Table of Contents and Chapter 1 of the Second Edition of our coursebook “Law and Neuroscience” (2d ed., 2020 from Aspen Publishing). Designed for use in both law schools and beyond, the book provides user-friendly introductions, as well as detailed explorations, of the many current and emerging issues at the intersection of law and neuroscience.

One part of the book explains the basics of brain structure and function, the methods for investigating each, and both the promise and the limitations of modern neuroscience technologies. This is followed by coverage of general foundations by exploring the relationships between law and science generally, and by comparing the views from law and from neuroscience regarding behavior and responsibility.

Core themes the book addresses include new law/neuroscience issues pertaining to: brain injuries, pain and distress, memory, emotions, lie detection, judging, adolescence, addiction, and brain death. Closing units explore current and coming legal issues surrounding cognitive enhancement, brain-machine interfaces, and artificial intelligence. The materials also consider: international neurolaw, psychopathy, decision-making, mental health, the aging brain, the veteran’s brain, behavioral genetics, prediction of future dangerousness, and neuroethics. Given the scope and nature of coverage, the book is designed to serve both as a coursebook and as a reference text for judges, practicing attorneys, and scholars interested in law and neuroscience. Professors and students will benefit from: technical subjects explained in an accessible manner; an extensive glossary of key terms; and photos and illustrations to enliven the text.

New to the Second Edition are:
* Extensively revised chapters, updated with new findings and materials.
* New chapter on Aging Brains
* Hundreds of new references and citations to recent developments.
* Over 600 new references and citations to recent developments, with 260 new readings, including * 27 new case selections
* Highly current material; 45% of cases and publications in the Second Edition were published since the first edition in 2014

Keywords: law and neuroscience, psychology, neurolaw, criminal responsibility, tort liability, evidence, brain, memory, injury, emotion, lie detection, judging, psychopathy, fMRI, EEG, decision making, neuroethics, punishment, sentencing

JEL Classification: K13, K14, K40, K42

Suggested Citation

Jones, Owen D. and Schall, Jeffrey D. and Shen, Francis X., Law and Neuroscience (2d ed. 2021) (January 1, 2021). LAW AND NEUROSCIENCE, (2d ed., Aspen 2021), Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper 14-12, Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-19, Available at SSRN:

Owen D. Jones (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States


Jeffrey D. Schall

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3


Francis X. Shen

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

Minneapolis, MN
United States

MGH Center for Law, Brain & Behavior ( email )

55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
United States

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