Brain Science for Lawyers, Judges, and Policymakers

Jones, Owen D. and Schall, Jeffrey D. and Shen, Francis X. and Hoffman, Morris B. and Wagner, Anthony D., Brain Science for Lawyers, Judges, and Policymakers (March 13, 2024).

Vanderbilt Law Research Paper

30 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 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

Morris B. Hoffman

Second Judicial District Court Judge, State of Colorado

Anthony D. Wagner

Stanford University - Department of Psychology

Date Written: March 11, 2024

Abstract

Brain science in the form of neuroscientific evidence now appears frequently in courtrooms and policy discussions alike. Many legal issues are at stake, such as how to separate the best uses of brain science information from those that are potentially biasing or misleading. It is crucial to evaluate brain science evidence in light of relevant legal standards (such as the Daubert and Frye rules).

Brain Science for Lawyers, Judges, and Policymakers responds to this rapidly changing legal landscape, providing a user-friendly introduction to the fundamentals of neuroscience for lawyers, advocates, judges, legal academics, and policymakers. It features detailed but clear illustrations, as well as a comprehensive and accessible overview of developments in legally relevant neuroscience. Readers will learn brain science terms, how to understand and discuss brain structure and function in legally relevant contexts, and how to avoid over- or under-interpreting neuroscience evidence.

The book begins with a survey of the kinds of litigation, legislation, and regulation where neuroscience is currently being used. It provides accessible descriptions of basic brain anatomy and brain function, as well as an overview of how modern technologies can reveal the brain structures and brain functions of individuals. It finishes with cautions and limitations, including timely and though-provoking observations about where the future of neurolaw might lead. Throughout, the authors offer clear and concise guidance on understanding both the promise and the limitations of using brain science in law and policymaking.

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

JEL Classification: D87, D81, K14, C91, K40, K42, K13

Suggested Citation

Jones, Owen D. and Schall, Jeffrey D. and Shen, Francis X. and Hoffman, Morris B. and Wagner, Anthony D., Brain Science for Lawyers, Judges, and Policymakers (March 11, 2024). Jones, Owen D. and Schall, Jeffrey D. and Shen, Francis X. and Hoffman, Morris B. and Wagner, Anthony D., Brain Science for Lawyers, Judges, and Policymakers (March 13, 2024)., Vanderbilt Law Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4757769

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

Jeffrey D. Schall

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.yorku.ca/science/research/schalljd/

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

Morris B. Hoffman

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

Denver, CO
United States

Anthony D. Wagner

Stanford University - Department of Psychology ( email )

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

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

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