News and Commentary Archive

Explore recent scientific discoveries and news as well as CLBB events, commentary, and press.

Mission

The speed of technology in neuroscience as it impacts ethical and just decisions in the legal system needs to be understood by lawyers, judges, public policy makers, and the general public. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior is an academic and professional resource for the education, research, and understanding of neuroscience and the law. Read more

Dr. Edersheim on What Obama’s Solitary Confinement Reforms Mean for Inmates

CLBB Co-Director Dr. Judith Edersheim was quoted in a FRONTLINE article on President Barack Obama’s recent announcement of his commitment to reduce the use of solitary confinement in federal prisons, particularly by ending the use of isolation on inmates under the age of 18. On the harmful effects of solitary confinement on adolescents in particular, Dr. Edersheim states,

“Adolescents are neurological sponges for their environment, and if those environments are toxic it can permanently alter their brain development in all the ways we need them to develop. Solitary confinement is arguably the worst neurotoxin in that sense.”

Read the full piece from FRONTLINE, “What Obama’s Solitary Reforms Mean for Inmates“, by Sarah Childress, published on January 26, 2016.

Dr. Buckholtz to Receive APS Award

CLBB Faculty Member Joshua Buckholtz has been chosen as one of the recipients of the 2016 Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformational Early Career Contributions. According to the website:

The APS Board of Directors established the Janet Taylor Spence Award to recognize transformative contributions to psychological science by rising stars in the field. The Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions celebrates the many new and cutting edge ideas coming out of the most creative and promising investigators who embody the future of psychological science.

The Spence award recognizes young researchers who cross traditional sub-disciplinary lines in psychological science and honors contributions that reveal the organization underlying complex behavior by drawing upon multiple fields of psychological science.

The award will be given to the most creative and promising young investigators, like Spence at the beginning of her career.

Congratulations to Dr. Joshua Buckholtz on this outstanding achievement!

Amanda Pustilnik to Help Develop Standards for Legal Uses of Brain Imaging

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) has convened a pioneering working group to develop international standards for the legal uses of brain imaging, a group that will include CLBB Faculty Member and former Fellow in Law & Applied Neuroscience, Amanda Pustilnik. This will be the first body to set international standards for legal and policy uses of brain imaging, advancing law, policy, and human outcomes in the pain area. Additionally, it will provide a model for how to set standards in all areas where law may turn to brain imaging relating to the brain’s production of sensation, affect, and behavior. This initiative was in part prompted by the ideas raised at CLBB’s recent conference,  “Visible Solutions: How Neuroimaging Helps Law Re-envision Pain”.

Congratulations to Amanda Pustilnik for being part of this trailblazing effort!

WATCH: “Raising the Age of Juvenile Court in Connecticut”

During a speech in November at the University of Connecticut Law School, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy proposed that his state raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction through age 20, and that a separate process be developed for handing cases for defendants and offenders under the age of 25.

His proposal mirrors recommendations by Harvard Kennedy School researchers, and if enacted, would make Connecticut the first state in US history to raise the age of juvenile, or family, court jurisdiction beyond age 18.

Join the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School on Monday evening, January 25, 2016 at 6:30 in Wiener Auditorium for A Conversation with Dannel P. Malloy on Raising the Age of Juvenile Court in Connecticut’, moderated by Vincent Schiraldi, and hear why Gov. Malloy proposed to raise the age of family court to 21.

Featuring

Event Details

  • Monday, January 25, 2015 – 6:30 PM
  • Harvard Kennedy School | Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Building, Ground Floor 
    79 JFK Street, Cambridge | Directions

About this Event

This event is sponsored by the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (HKS), MGH Center for Law, Brain & Behavior, the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy (HKS), the Criminal Justice Program of Study, Research & Advocacy (HLS), and the student-led Criminal Justice Professional Interest Council (HKS). Continue reading »

Dr. Bruce Price to Speak on the Future of Behavioral Neurology

CLBB Co-Director Bruce Price will be the Keynote Speaker at the Groupe de Reserche sur la maladie d’Alzheimer XXIXth Congress in Marseille, France on January 29, 2016. His speech, “The Future of Behavioral Neurology in the 21st Century”, will highlight CLBB as a model of cross-disciplinary collaboration. He will be giving similar talks at BIDMC and North Shore Hospital psychiatry grand rounds and the annual Derek Denny-Brown lecture of the Boston Society for Neurology and Psychiatry.

More information can be found out about the event here.

Congratulations to Dr. Price!