Neuroscience and Law: Promise and Perils

On Tuesday, April 16, neuroethics enthusiasts can attend a mini-symposium in San Francisco, “Neuroscience and Law: Promise and Perils.” Hosted by the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and part of its annual meeting (April 13-16), this session includes four talks that address “recent and exciting developments at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and law.” Two of the talks will be given by Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives members B.J. Casey, Ph.D., and Martha Farah, Ph.D.

Dr. Casey, director of Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University will speak about the legal implications of our increasing understanding of adolescent decision-making and risk-taking. She discussed her research on this topic in a recent Dana Foundation briefing paper, “A Delicate Balance: Risks, Rewards, and the Adolescent Brain.”

Dr. Farah, director of the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania, will focus on two areas: the notion of free will and the use of neuroscience in legal cases. In the latter area, she’ll draw particular attention to self-control and addiction (also discussed by a 2012 International Neuroethics Society meeting panel; video here).

For more news and information about neuroethics, check out the dedicated Dana Foundation page and the International Neuroethics Society Facebook page.

– Ann L. Whitman

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