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

Brain’s ‘pain meter’ identified

By Tanya Lewis | Live Science | 5 March 2015

The brain’s “pain sensor” has been found, researchers say. When you step on a thumbtack or hit your funny bone, this is the part of your brain that lights up.

Researchers conducted imaging scans of the brains of people who were experiencing pain waxing and waning over several hours. They identified a region of the brain called the dorsal posterior insula, which became active in response to how much pain a person felt. Continue reading »

Why Painful Memories Linger

Christopher Wanjek | Live Science | December 8, 2014

Memories of traumatic events can be hard to shake, and now scientists say they understand why. Studies on laboratory rats have revealed, for the first time, the brain mechanism that translates unpleasant experiences into long-lasting memories.

The findings support a 65-year-old hypothesis called Hebbian plasticity. This idea states that in the face of trauma, such as watching a dog sink its teeth into your leg, more neurons in the brain fire electrical impulses in unison and make stronger connections to each other than under normal situations. Stronger connections make stronger memories. Continue reading »