News and Commentary Archive

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


The Center for Law, Brain & Behavior puts the most accurate and actionable neuroscience in the hands of judges, lawyers, policymakers and journalists—people who shape the standards and practices of our legal system and affect its impact on people’s lives. We work to make the legal system more effective and more just for all those affected by the law.

WATCH – “Memory in the Courtroom: Fixed, Fallible or Fleeting?”

On January 31, 2013, CLBB hosted an evening event at Harvard Medical School on the changing science of memory and its implications for the court. Experts in the neuroscience of memory distortion, post-traumatic stress, and the laws of evidence discussed the complicated use of memory in the courtroom. Speakers included Harvard Professor of Psychology and best-selling author of The Seven Sins of Memory, Daniel Schacter, PhD; Harvard Medical School Professor and PTSD expert, Roger Pitman, MD; and Harvard Law School Professor and Retired US District Judge, Judge Nancy Gertner. Award winning investigative journalist Dick Lehr introduced the event with a story he had covered for the Globe about a wrongful conviction due to eye-witness misidentification.  CLBB co-director Judith Edersheim moderated an interdisciplinary panel discussion following remarks from each speaker, followed by audience Q&A.

Watch the individual presentations and panel discussion below, or visit our “Memory in the Courtroom” channel at

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Watch: “Empathy: The Development and Disintegration of Human Connection”

Empathy on Vimeo.comOn January 17, 2013, CLBB and the Boston Society for Neurology and Psychiatry hosted an evening event at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to explore and discuss the neuroscience of empathy — the remarkable capacity of humans to relate to others: what we are learning about how and when this capacity fails, and whether these failures — which can have consequences ranging from therapeutic breaches to unthinkable crimes that defy our understanding — can be rehabilitated. Speakers included Massachusetts General Hospital faculty Carl Marci, Director of Social Neuroscience for the Psychotherapy Research Program; Alice Flaherty, Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry; and Helen Riess, Director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program in the Department of Psychiatry; as well as CLBB Director Judy Edersheim.

Watch the individual presentations and panel discussion below, or visit our “Empathy” channel at

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Steve Pinker and Josh Buckholtz discuss the neuroscience of violence on PBS special “After Newtown”

As the American public struggles to make sense of the December’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the scientific community has been called upon to discuss what we know about the neuroscience of violence and its relationship to such disturbing acts.

Harvard Psychologists Steve Pinker and Joshua Buckholtz, a CLBB faculty member, appear on the PBS special “After Newtown” to talk about the neuroscience of violence and its relationship to mass killings.

Watch NOVA: Neuroscience of Violence on PBS. See more from After Newtown.