The Brain and The Law
Neuroscientist Dr David Eagleman considers some emerging questions relating to law and neuroscience, challenging long-held assumptions in criminality and punishment and predicting a radical new future for the legal system. (Apr 21, 2009 at the RSA) Is it a legitimate defence, for example, to claim that a brain tumour or unique neural wiring made you do it? Will neuroscience inform sentencing decisions by offering a better prediction of recidivism? Can novel technologies such as brain imaging be leveraged for new methods of rehabilitation? If most behaviours are driven by systems of the brain that we cannot control, how should the law assess responsibility? Chair: Dr Matt Grist, head of the RSA's Social Brain project.