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.

Reappraising Pain

nrn3919-i1By Natasha Bray | Nature Reviews Neuroscience “Pain” | January 29, 2015

Pain has sensory and affective components, and can be augmented or attenuated through the cognitive reappraisal of the painful stimulus in a process called ‘self-regulation’. Although the sensory and affective qualities of pain are thought to be tracked by a set of regions throughout the brain that are collectively known as the ‘neurological…

Read the full article, with subscription, on Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

The Neuroscience of Memory: Implications for the Courtroom

ABSTRACT: Although memory can be hazy at times, it is often assumed that memories of violent or otherwise stressful events are so well encoded that they are effectively indelible and that confidently retrieved memories are almost certainly accurate. However, findings from basic psychological research and neuroscience studies indicate that memory is a reconstructive process that is susceptible to distortion. In the courtroom, even minor memory distortions can have severe consequences that are partly driven by common misunderstandings about memory — for example, that memory is more veridical than it may actually be.

Source: Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14, 649–658

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