Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Text on Neuroscience and the Law

Several times, I have blogged about cognitive science as an important tool for learning and understanding the law.  I have used cognitive science in my own work on jurisprudence (neurojurisprudence) and on legal educaion (the neurobiology of learning).  (e.g., here)

Now, a group of authors have written a text book on neuroscience and the law.

Law and Neuroscience by Owen D. Jones, Jeffrey D. Schall, and Francis X. Shen.


This [download] 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.

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