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The Research Network on Law and Neuroscience, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, addresses a focused set of closely-related problems at the intersection of neuroscience and criminal justice:  1) investigating law-relevant mental states of, and decision-making processes in, defendants, witnesses, jurors, and judges; 2) investigating in adolescents the relationship between brain development and cognitive capacities; and  3) assessing how best to draw inferences about individuals from group-based neuroscientific data. 

New Knowledge Brief from the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience (9/27/17)

“Individual results may vary.” This phrase pops up frequently in our daily lives, but it is often ignored, underestimated or misunderstood in the courtroom. Using scientific data gathered from large groups to make predictions about individual cases (otherwise known as Group to Individual, or “G2i” inference) is a practice fraught with potential problems, yet it is common in our legal system. So how should judges and juries treat expert testimony that relies on group data to describe one individual? Our latest knowledge brief provides guidance on practical questions, such as:

       What guidance has the Supreme Court provided on the issue of scientific inference?

       How should courts handle the admissibility of general scientific evidence versus diagnostic testimony?

       What practices can courts adopt to ensure effective management of the G2i divide?


You can view and download the G2i Knowledge Brief here: