Research Networks

Research Network on Law and Neuroscience

Examining multiple effects of modern neuroscience on criminal law and trying to make neuroscience accessible and beneficial to America’s courtrooms

Supported by MacArthur from 2007 to 2021

About This Network

The MacArthur Research Network on Law and Neuroscience examined multiple effects of modern neuroscience on criminal law and tried to make neuroscience accessible and beneficial to America’s courtrooms.

The Research Network addressed a focused set of problems in criminal justice:

  • Mental States: Assessing probable mental states of defendants and witnesses, such as the defendant’s most likely state of mind when he committed a past bad act. 
  • Capacity: Assessing a defendant’s capacity for self-regulating his behavior or self-control.
  • Evidence: Assessing whether, and if so how, various kinds of neuroscientific evidence should be admitted and evaluated in individual cases.

Within these categories, researchers conducted brain imaging and other studies to examine issues such as detecting deception; detecting recognition; cognitive and brain development in adolescents; and when neuroscientific evidence, such as fMRI brain scans, should and sometimes, importantly, should not be admissible in court. The Network represented a distinct second phase of a research initiative titled The Law and Neuroscience Project, which launched in 2007.

View the Law and Neuroscience Knowledge Brief ›

Neuroscience Could Reveal Criminal Intent
Applying Neuroscientific Lie Detection in Court
Understanding Neuroscience and the Law
Considering Ethics and Neuroscience in the Justice System

Network Chair

Owen D. Jones
Vanderbilt University
[email protected]

Network Members

Richard J. Bonnie
University of Virginia

BJ Casey
Yale University

Andre Davis
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

David L. Faigman
University of California, Hastings

Morris Hoffman
District Court Judge, State of Colorado

Read Montague
Virginia Tech & University College, London

Stephen J. Morse
University of Pennsylvania

Marcus E. Raichle
Washington University

Jennifer Richeson
Yale University

Elizabeth Scott
Columbia University

Francis X. Shen
University of Minnesota

Laurence Steinberg
Temple University

Kim Taylor-Thompson
New York University

Anthony D. Wagner
Stanford University

Gideon Yaffe
Yale University

Stay Informed
Sign up for periodic news updates and event invitations.

Connect with us on social media or view all of our social media content in one place.

The privacy of your data is important to us. We've updated our privacy policies in response to General Data Protection Regulation.