Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Neuroscientists in Court

14 Nature Reviews Neuroscience 730 (2013)

Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 14-17

7 Pages Posted: 7 May 2014 Last revised: 15 May 2014

Owen D. Jones

Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences

Anthony D. Wagner

Stanford University - Psychology

David L. Faigman

University of California Hastings College of the Law

Marcus E. Raichle

Washington University School of Medicine

Date Written: September 12, 2013

Abstract

Neuroscientific evidence is increasingly being offered in court cases. Consequently, the legal system needs neuroscientists to act as expert witnesses who can explain the limitations and interpretations of neuroscientific findings so that judges and jurors can make informed and appropriate inferences. The growing role of neuroscientists in court means that neuroscientists should be aware of important differences between the scientific and legal fields, and, especially, how scientific facts can be easily misunderstood by non-scientists,including judges and jurors.

This article describes similarities, as well as key differences, of legal and scientific cultures. And it explains six key principles about neuroscience that those in law need to know.

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

JEL Classification: K13, K14, K40, K42

Suggested Citation

Jones, Owen D. and Wagner, Anthony D. and Faigman, David L. and Raichle, Marcus E., Neuroscientists in Court (September 12, 2013). 14 Nature Reviews Neuroscience 730 (2013); Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 14-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2432469

Owen D. Jones (Contact Author)

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

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

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/bio/owen-jones

Anthony D. Wagner

Stanford University - Psychology ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
(650) 723-4048 (Phone)
(650) 725-5699 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: https://psychology.stanford.edu/awagner

David L. Faigman

University of California Hastings College of the Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Marcus E. Raichle

Washington University School of Medicine ( email )

United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
541
Rank
41,190
Abstract Views
2,009