News and Commentary Archive

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

Mission

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.

Video: Steven Pinker: “The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century”

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, at the Bornstein Amphitheater at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, CLBB and the Boston Society for Neurology and Psychiatry co-sponsored a talk by Steven Pinker, renowned Harvard cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular author, to discuss his most recent book, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. Video of the event is included below in its entirety and at our Vimeo page. Continue reading »

Watch: “Free Will: What Can Physiology Explain?”

While we may believe that we choose and direct our movements consciously, the physiology of human motor control provides compelling evidence that this sense of conscious decision – free will – is a perception only.

On Thursday, October 2, 2014, at the Bornstein Amphitheater at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, CLBB and the Boston Society for Neurology and Psychiatry co-sponsored an event exploring how an understanding of human motor control can contribute to the question of free will. Video of the event is included below in its entirety and at our Vimeo page. Continue reading »

Dispatch: “Neuro-interventions and the Law” Conference

Dr. Ekaterina Pivovarova

Dr. Ekaterina Pivovarova

On September 12-14, 2014, the Atlanta Neuroethics Consortium was held at Georgia State University. The topic, Neuro-Interventions and the Law: Regulating Human Mental Capacity, brought together leading scholars on philosophy, neuroscience, law, cognitive and clinical psychology, psychiatry, and bioethics. The participants included Judge Andre Davis, Nita Farahany, Stephen Morse, Francis Shen, Walter Sinnot-Armstrong, Nicole Vincent, and Paul Root Wolpe. The conference panels, talks, and keynotes addressed pressing issues about managing and appropriately utilizing novel neuroscientific technologies as they relate to legal issues. Continue reading »

CLBB Publishes “Justice for Emerging Adults after Jones” in the NYU Law Review

The Center for Law, Brain and Behavior published a co-authored article, “Justice for Emerging Adults After Jones: The Rapidly Developing Use of Neuroscience to Extend Eighth Amendment Miller Protections to Defendants Ages 18 and Older” in the May 2022 Issue of the New York University Law Review.


During his tenure as CLBB Executive Director, Dr. Francis Shen teamed with CLBB student research assistants to provide the first empirical analysis of how courts are receiving arguments favoring raising the age above 18 for Eighth Amendment constitutional protections.

View the article here.


Authors: Francis X. Shen, Fenella McLuskie, Erin Shortell, Mariah Bellamoroso, Elizabeth Escalante, Brenna Evans, Ian Hayes, Clarissa Kimmey, Sarah Lagan, Madeleine Muller, Jennifer Near, Kailey Nicholson, Job Okeri, Ifeoma Okoli, Emily Rehmet, Nancy Gertner, Robert Kinscherff

Dr. Bruce Price Presents at 2nd Dubai Neurology Hybrid Congress

Dubai Neurology Hybrid Congress | February 25-27, 2022

CLBB Co-Founder and Co-Director Dr. Bruce Price presented at the 2nd Dubai Neurology Hybrid Congress, held in Dubai Festival City, UAE. Dr. Price spoke at the Dementia Session in a lecture titled “Alzheimer Disease: A Neuropsychiatric Syndrome?”


Workshops at this conference included topics on movement disorder and Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, headache management, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and epilepsy.


View a recording of Dr. Price’s lecture on Vimeo here.

The Science of Addiction

May 17, 2022, 12:00 PM
Online

Register for this Event

Online Viewing

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this panel discussion will be held virtually, as an online webinar. The event will be recorded, captioned, and distributed at a later date for registrants who are unable to watch live. To ensure that you receive access to the livestream and the recording, 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

Advances in the scientific understanding of addiction have important implications for treatment, policy, and the law. In this panel, Eden Evins, M.D. will discuss addiction neuroscience, prognosis, and treatment. Stephanie Tabashneck, Psy.D., J.D. will then lead a discussion on the role of addiction science in judicial and legal decision making at the intersection of science and the law.

Join the conversation or submit questions on Twitter @PetrieFlom using #LawAndNeuro.

Panelists

  • Introduction: Carmel Shachar, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center
  • Eden Evins, M.D., Director, MGH Center for Addiction Medicine and Cox Family Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Stephanie Tabashneck, PsyD, JD, Senior Fellow in Law and Applied Neuroscience, CLBB and the Petrie-Flom Center

Juvenile (in) Justice: The Role of Science and Advocacy in Juvenile Sentencing Post-Jones

In Fall 2021, law students at Northeastern University School of Law (NUSL) under the direction of Professor Stevie Leahy began investigation into the current state of law and public policy regarding the sentencing of juvenile offenders across the United States.  This investigation was prompted by the Spring 2021 decision by the US Supreme Court in Jones v. MississippiMany experts consider Jones to signal the end of increasing 8th Amendment protections for juveniles under a series of cases since 2005. In its wake, Jones will now leave the requirements of juvenile sentencing to the discretion of individual courts and/or legislatures. The NUSL students (known as Law Office 7) completed this project in March 2022 and released their analysis and recommendations as Juvenile (in) Justice: The Role of Science and Advocacy in Juvenile Justice Post-Jones.  CLBB served as a partner organization for this project, which coincided with their publication of a detailed whitepaper aligning scientific research with prior factors considered by courts in juvenile sentencing. CLBB Executive Director Dr. Robert Kinscherff and Affiliated Faculty Judge Jay Blitzman (ret.) consulted with the students, with Judge Blitzman bringing his nationally recognized expertise in this area.  Armand Coleman, Executive Director at the Transformational Prison Project, also provided his guidance and expertise to the students. The research by Law Office 7 confirms that a lack of clarity and specific requirements within juvenile sentencing decisions increases disparities in “justice by geography” when it comes to sentencing outcomes.

Please click here to view the guide: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KOf3pFJ7ANmT8o47xPowW65vJrejuTxo/view?usp=sharing

Neuroscience and Cannabis: Implications for Law and Policy

 April 20, 2022, 12:00 PM
 Online

WATCH RECORDING HERE

Event Description

The legalization of cannabis has raised significant questions for law and public policy. In this public event, neuroscientist Dr. Yasmin Hurd will explore the science of cannabis, CBD, and the future of substance use disorder treatment. Dr. Stephanie Tabashneck will then moderate a discussion and audience Q&A about the implications for law and policy.

Join the conversation or submit questions on Twitter @PetrieFlom using #LawAndNeuro.

Panelists

  • Introduction: Carmel Shachar, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center
  • Yasmin Hurd, PhD, Ward-Coleman Chair, Translational Neuroscience, Professor Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and Director, Addiction Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • 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.