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August 20, 2014

This message brings news about:

A) Recent or Forthcoming Neurolaw Publications
B) Neurolaw Media & News Clippings
C) Conferences & Speaker Series

A.  Recent or Forthcoming Neurolaw Publications  

1.   Special issue of Court Review. The Research Network recently published a special issue on law and neuroscience in the journal Court Review . Court Review is the distributed quarterly by the American Judges Association (AJA) to over 2,200 judges in the United States. The special issue featured shortened versions, adapted from longer pieces, accessible to the judiciary. The issue, edited by Francis Shen and Owen Jones, included the following articles: 

Owen D. Jones, Joshua Buckholtz, Jeffrey D. Schall, and René Marois, Brain Imaging for Judges: An Introduction to Law and Neuroscience

David L. Faigman, Evidentiary Incommensurability: A Preliminary Exploration of the Problem of Reasoning from General Scientific Data to Individualized Legal Decision-Making

Susan Rushing, The Admissibility of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Evidence

Laurence Steinberg, Should the Science of Adolescent Brain Development Inform Public Policy?

Amanda C. Pustilnik, Pain as Fact and Heuristic: How Pain Neuroimaging Illuminates Moral Dimensions of Law

Stephen J. Morse, The Status of NeuroLaw: A Plea for Current Modesty and Future, Cautious Optimism

Francis X. Shen, Keeping up With Neurolaw: What to Know, and Where to Look  

2.   Theodore Y. Blumoff’s book When Nature and Nurture Collide: Early Childhood Trauma, Adult Crime, and the Limits of Criminal Law was recently published by the Carolina Academic Press.  his work examines the neuropsychological injuries suffered by seriously abused and neglected children, towards an explanation for why those children produce children who tend to abuse and neglect their own children and sometimes others.

Click here for the book’s website
Click here to view the book’s Table of Contents

3.   Azim F. Shariff, Joshua D. Greene, Johan C. Karremans, Jamie Luguri, Cory Clark, Jonathan W. Schooler, Roy F. Baumeister, Kathleen D. Vohs, Free Will and Punishment: A Mechanistic View of Human Nature Reduces Retribution , Pysch. Sci. 1 (2014).

4.   Glenn Cohen, What (If Anything) is Wrong with Human Enhancement? What (If Anything) is Right With It? 49 Tulsa L.R. 645 (2014). 

5.   Raymond E. Collins, Onset and Desistance in Criminal Careers: Neurobiology and the Age-Crime Relationship , 39(1) J. Offender Rehabilitation 1(2004).

6.   Edith Greene & Brain S. Cahill, Effects of neuroimaging evidence on mock juror decision making , 30(3) Behav Sci Law 280 (2012).

7.   Paul S. Appelbaum & Nicholas Scurich, Impact of Behavioral Genetic Evidence on the Adjudication of Criminal Behavior , 42(1) J. Am. Acad. Psychiatry Law 91 (2014).

8.   Martha J. Farah and Cayce J. Hook, The Seductive Allure of “Seductive Allure,” 8(1) Perspectives on Psych. Sci. (2013).

9.   Rodney K. Smith, Head Injuries, Student Welfare, and Saving College Football: A Game Plan for the NCAA , 41(2) Pepperdine Law Review 267 (2014).

10.   So Yeon Choe, Misdiagnosing the Impact of Neuroimages in the Courtroom , 61 UCLA L. Rev. 1502 (2014).


B.  Neurolaw Media & News Clippings  

    1. The United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit mentioned neurotransmitters in  US v. Payton, No. 13-1242 (June 12, 2014).  The decision overturns and remands (as insufficiently supported) the trial court’s 45-year sentence for a 45 year old serial bank robber.  The passage mentioning neuroscience reads: “Studies indicate that neurotransmitters affecting aggression supplied at the synapses of brain neurons vary based on age, and may explain the observed decline in recidivism among older prisoners.” 

Read the entire opinion here
Read commentary about the opinion here.  

    1. Judge Morris Hoffman was recently interviewed by Marshall Poe about his new book The Punisher’s Brain: The Evolution of Judge and Jury . Poe’s review of the book notes Hoffman’s position that humans are “evolved to punish ‘cheaters’–ourselves and others–so as to maintain all-important bonds of trust and cooperation. But we are also evolved not to take punishment too far. When correction becomes too costly, we forgive so as to maintain social solidarity.”

Read Poe’s review and listen to the full discussion here
Judge Hoffman’s book also was reviewed in the July 26 issue of The Economist, which can be accessed here

    1. The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Law, Brain, & Behavior launched a new online learning center.  The learning center will serve as a new hub for all of our neuroethics-related videos, syllabi, and other teaching resources.

The main link to the online learning center is here:
All videos specifically tagged neurolaw are here:   

    1. The American Psychology-Law Society (APA Div. 41) Student Committee hosted Christopher Slobogin’s presentation “Brain Science and Criminal Law: Application of the Rules of Evidence” on June 3, 3014.  The webinar discussed how courts should analyze, and thus how experts should frame, psychological testimony in criminal trials that relies on neuroscientific findings.

Click here for audio
Click here for video  

    1. The New York Times recently published an opinion piece about adolescent brain development by Richard A. Friedman titled, “Why Teenagers Act Crazy.”  To read the full article, visit:      

C.  Conferences & Speaker Series  

  1. The XXIVth International Congress of Law and Mental Health was held in Vienna from July 12-17, 2015.  The Congress, hosted every two years by the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, brings together the international community of researchers, academics, practitioners and professionals in the field, whose wide-ranging perspectives provide for a comprehensive look at important law and mental health issues.  More information about the Congress can be found here.


Neurolaw News is produced by The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience, headquartered at Vanderbilt University Law School, 131 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203.  For more information, please see: < / >.  For phone inquiries, please call 615-343-9797.

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