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

CLBB Director of Law & Ethics to lead HMS Master’s Program in Bioethics

As of fall 2014, CLBB Director of Law & Ethics Rebecca W. Brendel, JD, MD, will join the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics to lead the development of a new Master’s Program in Bioethics. Originally established as the Division of Medical Ethics, The Center was rebranded in spring 2014 to serve as a convener for faculty who will collaborate with the ethics services at the HMS affiliates and with ethics programs at schools throughout Harvard University. Dr. Brendel will develop and then lead the new Master’s Program in Bioethics at HMS.

The Master of Bioethics Degree, beginning fall 2015, will combine resources from the Center for Bioethics, Harvard teaching hospitals, and departments across the University in a one-year full time course of study and is open to working professionals holding a terminal degree in any discipline. A core group of applicants is expected from medicine, law, nursing, public health, social work, public policy, scientific and biotechnology research, journalism, and business.

Rebecca W. Brendel

Dr. Brendel is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of Law & Ethics at CLBB. An expert consult-liaison psychiatrist and ethicist, Dr. Brendel has published widely on issues including voluntary psychiatric hospitalization (2014), evaluation of capacity to appoint a healthcare proxy (2013), and legal issues including mandatory reporting and informed consent (2010).

Dr. Brendel will be stepping down as Clinical Director of the Home Base Program — a collaboration of the Red Sox Foundation and MGH — in order to step into the new role at the Center for Bioethics.  Continue reading »

Watch: “Models of the Mind: How Neuroscience, Psychology, and the Law Collide”

Models of the Mind

Click above to view the flyer for this event.

On April 25 at Harvard Medical School’s Joseph Martin Amphitheater, CLBB joined forces with the Northeastern University’s Affective Science Institute to host a conversation among experts in neuroscience, psychology, and the law about three distinct and sometimes conflicting views on the causes of human behavior.  How do the three models understand cause and effect, attribute blame, and think about rehabilitation?

Panelists included Lisa Feldman Barrett, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University and Research Scientist in the Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology at MGH; Randy Buckner, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Director of Psychiatric Neuroimaging at MGH; Amanda Pustilnik, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Maryland School of Law where she teaches Criminal Law, Evidence, and Law & Neuroscience.

Ed Hundert, Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, moderated a panel discussion and Audience Q&A following speaker remarks.

Watch the individual presentations below, or visit our “Models of the Mind” channel at Vimeo.com.

Continue reading »

Watch: Edward Hundert discusses “Three Approaches to the Mind”

On April 25th, 2013, CLBB will host an evening of discussion with experts from different disciplines to understand the roots of human behavior, and how neuroscience may be able to inform so-called “Models of the Mind” used in the justice system.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Edward Hundert, who in the 50-minute talk here presents a synthesis of ideas about the mind from philosophers, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists in an effort to find a common language through which these diverse views  can contribute insights to one another. Drawing on thinkers from Plato, Kant, Freud, Hegel, and Hume to modern neuroscientists and researchers in artificial intelligence, Dr. Hundert compares the ways various fields interpret the “nature-nurture debate” around the question of how our basic concepts of the world find their way into our brains. He concludes by comparing all of these cognitive theories of knowledge with moral theories of justice, challenging us to appreciate just how interactive the relationship is – in the realms of both knowledge and values – between the human brain and the world we share.

Continue reading »