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G2i Knowledge Brief: A Knowledge Brief of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience

MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience (2017)

5 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2017  

David L. Faigman

University of California Hastings College of the Law

Richard J. Bonnie

University of Virginia - School of Law

BJ Casey

Yale University - Department of Psychology

Andre Davis

US Court of Appeals - Fourth Circuit

Morris B. Hoffman

Second Judicial District Court Judge, State of Colorado

Owen D. Jones

Vanderbilt University - Law School & Dept. of Biological Sciences

Read Montague

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Stephen Morse

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Marcus E. Raichle

Washington University School of Medicine

Jennifer A. Richeson

Yale University - Department of Psychology

Elizabeth S. Scott

Columbia University - Law School

Laurence Steinberg

Temple University

Kim A. Taylor-Thompson

New York University School of Law

Anthony D. Wagner

Stanford University - Psychology

Gideon Yaffe

Yale Law School

Date Written: December 6, 2016

Abstract

Courts are daily confronted with admissibility issues – such as in cases involving neuroscientific testimony – that sometimes involve both the existence of a general phenomenon (i.e., “G”) and the question of whether a particular case represents a specific instance of that general phenomenon (i.e., “i”).

Unfortunately, courts have yet to carefully consider the implications of “G2i” for their admissibility decisions. In some areas, courts limit an expert’s testimony to the general phenomenon. They insist that whether the case at hand is an instance of that phenomenon is exclusively a jury question, and thus not an appropriate subject of expert opinion. In other cases, in contrast, courts hold that expert evidence must be provided on both the group-data issue (i.e., that the phenomenon exists) and what is called the “diagnostic” issue (i.e., that this case is an instance of that phenomenon).

Consequently, the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience has prepared this knowledge brief to help courts manage the G2i divide. Specifically, we recommend that courts first determine whether proffered expert testimony concerns only the existence of the general phenomenon or instead concerns both that and the diagnosis that a particular case represents an instance of that phenomenon. Only after making that determination should the court make its admissibility decision (guided, for instance, by the Daubert factors for admitting scientific evidence).

Keywords: evidence, G2i, group-to-individual inference, neuroscience, neurolaw, law and neuroscience, brain, brain imaging

JEL Classification: K14, K40, K42

Suggested Citation

Faigman, David L. and Bonnie, Richard J. and Casey, BJ and Davis, Andre and Hoffman, Morris B. and Jones, Owen D. and Montague, Read and Morse, Stephen and Raichle, Marcus E. and Richeson, Jennifer A. and Scott, Elizabeth S. and Steinberg, Laurence and Taylor-Thompson, Kim A. and Wagner, Anthony D. and Yaffe, Gideon, G2i Knowledge Brief: A Knowledge Brief of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience (December 6, 2016). MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2881618

David L. Faigman

University of California Hastings College of the Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Richard J. Bonnie

University of Virginia - School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

BJ Casey

Yale University - Department of Psychology ( email )

P.O. Box 208205
New Haven, CT 06520-8205
United States

HOME PAGE: http://psychology.yale.edu/people/bj-casey

Andre Davis

US Court of Appeals - Fourth Circuit ( email )

United States

Morris B. Hoffman

Second Judicial District Court Judge, State of Colorado ( email )

Denver, CO
United States

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

Read Montague

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute ( email )

2 Riverside Circle
Roanoke, VA 24016
United States
540-526-2000 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://research.vtc.vt.edu/employees/read-montague/

Stephen J. Morse

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Marcus E. Raichle

Washington University School of Medicine ( email )

United States

Jennifer A. Richeson

Yale University - Department of Psychology ( email )

P.O. Box 208205
New Haven, CT 06520-8205
United States

HOME PAGE: http://psychology.yale.edu/people/jennifer-richeson

Elizabeth S. Scott

Columbia University - Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
(212) 854-9758 (Phone)
(212) 854-7946 (Fax)

Laurence Steinberg

Temple University ( email )

Weiss Hall
1701 N. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Kim A. Taylor-Thompson

New York University School of Law ( email )

245 Sullivan Street, 627
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
(212) 998-6396 (Phone)
(212) 995-4031 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: https://its.law.nyu.edu/facultyprofiles/profile.cfm?personID=20328

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

Gideon Yaffe

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall St
New Haven, CT 06511

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