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.

‘I’m extremely controversial’: the psychologist rethinking human emotion

The Guardian | September 25, 2020

CLBB Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett is featured in this article for her pathbreaking work on how the emotions and the brain.

Highlight: “Barrett argues that the universal components of human experience are not emotions, but changes on a continuum of arousal on the one hand, and pleasantness and unpleasantness on the other. The term for this is “affect”. It is a basic feature of consciousness, and people in different cultures learn to mold this raw material into emotional experiences in different ways. So you can have high arousal and high pleasantness, and your brain might construct ‘ecstasy’, or low arousal and high unpleasantness and you might create ‘misery’.”

Read the full article here.

Full of fear, but fun … riding a rollercoaster in Domodedovo, Russia. Photograph: Gavriil Grigorov/Tass

TED MED Talk: Every Story Is A Brain Story

Boston, MA | September 2020 

CLBB Executive Director Francis Shen’s TED MED 2020 talk — Why Every Story is a Brain Story — is now available for viewing online. In this talk Dr. Shen explores how neuroscience can transform the law. TED MED 2020’s theme was “Make Way for Wonder” and Dr. Shen commented: When I make way for wonder, I see the law and the legal system not as they are, but as they can become.

Click here to view the full video.