Law 412 - Law and Neuroscience
Emily R.D. Murphy
Ph.D. University of Cambridge, Trinity College, 2007
J.D. Stanford Law School, 2012
The law is fundamentally concerned with human behavior, and every behavior is enabled by a brain. But does understanding the neuroscience – brain mechanism – behind a behavior matter for the law? This course examines the emerging field of “neurolaw” and explores the implications of deepening knowledge about brains for the legal system, including criminal law, civil litigation, legislation and policy. After an overview of fundamental issues and concepts in neurolaw, the course provides an introduction to what lawyers need to know about the brain and techniques used to examine or manipulate its function. Against the important background of how law and science increasingly interact with one another, we will then consider the legal implications of brain sciences for a number of areas of law, including: addiction and criminal responsibility; evidence and memory; jury assessments of credibility and lie detection; juvenile justice and brain development; bias and decision-making; trauma and public policy. A background in science is not required and is not assumed.