Law and Neuroscience

41 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2014 Last revised: 27 May 2014

See all articles by Owen D. Jones

Owen D. Jones

Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences

Jeffrey D. Schall

Vanderbilt University - Department of Psychology

Francis X. Shen

University of Minnesota Law School

Date Written: March 2014


This provides the Summary Table of Contents and Chapter 1 of our coursebook “Law and Neuroscience” (forthcoming April 2014, 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 lays 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. A later part explains the basics of brain structure and function, the methods for investigating each, and both the promise and the limitations of modern neuroscience technologies. 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.

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 (March 2014). LAW AND NEUROSCIENCE, (Aspen 2014, Forthcoming); 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

Vanderbilt University - Department of Psychology ( email )

Nashville, TN 37240
United States

Francis X. Shen

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

Minneapolis, MN
United States

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