image

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

Pustilnik on “And If Your Friends Jumped Off a Bridge, Would You Do It?”

On Wednesday, October 1, Amanda Pustilnik presented on juvenile developmental neuroscience research and it’s implications for law. The talk took place at the University of Arizona Law School as part of “The Mind & The Law” public lecture series.

The talk was titled “And If Your Friends Jumped Off a Bridge, Would You Do It? Translating Juvenile Developmental Neuroscience into Law.” Here is the talk abstract:

“Can recent science about the development  of adolescent brains and decision-making help inform laws relating to adolescents? Teens differ in their degree of life experience, and experience is essential to the formation of judgment.  They also differ biologically from adults in the ways in which they perceive the world and make decisions. Many areas of law embody the idea that adolescents are different from adults, but many times in ways that appear contradictory, even paradoxical.  A teen can refuse life-extending chemotherapy over her parents’ objections but cannot get an aspirin at school without a parent’s permission.  She cannot work more than part-time, but could be sentenced as an adult to life in prison.  This talk will explore what contemporary developmental neuroscience is teaching us about the specific, legally-relevant differences between adolescents and adults.  It will propose a framework for how lawmakers should think about specific adolescent differences, and when, whether, and how such differences ought to be reflected in the law.”

Pustilnik is CLBB Faculty, 2014-2015 Senior Fellow in Law and Applied Neuroscience, and University of Maryland School of Law Faculty.