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.

When Punishment Meets Penance: The Neuroscience and Practices of Solitary Confinement

November 3, 2022, 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET

On November 3rd, Dr. Joel Dvoskin and Dr. Adam Haar Horowitz presented on the neuroscience of solitary confinement and its current uses and abuses in the American correctional system.


Joel Dvoskin, PhD
Dr. Joel Dvoskin is a clinical and forensic psychologist, licensed in Arizona and New Mexico and certified in Forensic Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.
He served as Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Behavior Health and Wellness for the State of Nevada. He is the former Acting Commissioner of Mental Health for the State of NY, after serving for more than a decade as Associate Commissioner and Director for Forensic Services for the NY State Office of Mental Health.
Dr. Dvoskin is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), and Past President of two APA Divisions, including the American Psychology-Law Society and Psychologists in Public Service. He served on the APA Policy Task Force on Reducing Gun Violence, and on the APA Blue Ribbon Commission on Ethics Processes.

Adam Haar Horowitz, PhD works to translate brain science into experiences and interventions, with a focus on sleep and dreams. He is a co-inventor of the Dormio device and Targeted Dream Incubation technique, which facilitate control of dream content. At the moment he is building tools for nightmare treatment with psychiatrists at the US Dept of Veterans Affairs, and co-organizing MIT’s Dream Engineering Symposium focused on scientific ethics and education. He’s proud to serve on the board of the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior, on the Selection Committee for the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, and on the Sounding Board of Boston’s NPR. Adam has a background in research at Harvard metaLAB and MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research. His work has been presented in Nature, Science, National Academy of Sciences, GoogleX, 60 Minutes and the World Economic Forum. Adam received his PhD from MIT, working between the MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Medical School Center for Sleep and Cognition.

Life Sentences for Children?: The Neuroscientific Basis for Limitations on Harsh Sentencing

October 27, 2022, 12:00 PM

Register for this Event

Abstract Head and brain from lines and triangles, point connecting network on blue background.

Online viewing

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this panel discussion will be held virtually, as an online webinar. To ensure that you will receive access to the livestream and be kept up to date on any changes to the event, register now. We will send out a link to the livestream of the event to all registrants the day before and day of the event. Last registration is 11:30am on the day of the event. 

Event Description

Neuroscience is playing a key role in legal decisions about children and young adults serving life sentences. The US Supreme Court relied upon research on adolescent brain development to bar execution and limit sentences of Life Without Possibility of Parole for crimes committed under age 18. However, the U.S. Supreme Court case Jones v. Mississippi (2021) shifted the battleground from federal constitutional protections to protections afforded by state constitutions—with mixed results to date. This panel examines the latest neuroscience in the context of emerging case law.


  • Introduction: Carmel Shachar, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center
  • Leah Somerville, Professor of Psychology and Director, Affective Neuroscience and Development Laboratory, Harvard University
  • Stephanie Tabashneck, PsyD, JD, Senior Fellow in Law and Applied Neuroscience, CLBB and the Petrie-Flom Center

This event is part of the Project on Law and Applied Neuroscience, a collaboration between the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.