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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 Book:
Brain Science for Lawyers, Judges, and Policymakers

(Download Table of Contents and 2 Sample Chapters here)
(For paperback now, or hard-cover pre-order, click here)


The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience announces the publication of: Brain Science for Lawyers, Judges, and Policymakers

  • The book addresses the issue of neuroscientific evidence by providing a user-friendly guide to neuroscience for legal professionals. 
  • It covers fundamental concepts and offers insights into the application of neuroscience in litigation, legislation, and regulation.
  • It emphasizes understanding brain science terms, interpreting evidence appropriately, and provides cautions and observations about the future of neurolaw, guiding readers through the promise and limitations of using brain science in the legal realm.

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 neuroscientific 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 thought-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.