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 »

Families, Substance Use Disorder, and the Courts: Is Compassion Consistent with Accountability?

February 22, 2022, 12:00 PM
Online

Register for this Event Here


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


How can family law support parents and their children when a parent has a substance use disorder?

One in eight children live in a home with a parent with a substance use disorder. Most of these children are under the age of five.

This discussion will examine innovations in family law contexts, such as divorce, child custody, and care and dependency cases, that promote safety and recovery while emphasizing compassion and support for parents. Topics of discussion will include family drug court interventions, interventions for mothers with opioid use ​disorder, integrated family medical and behavioral care, and implications for policy.

Panelists


Introduction: Carmel Shachar, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center


Hon. Beth A. Crawford (Ret.), First Justice, Franklin County Probate and Family Court, Massachusetts (Former)


Davida Schiff, MD, Director, Perinatal and Family-based SUDs Care at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

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.

Neuroscience and Criminal Law: The Post-Jones Landscape for Late Adolescents and Emerging Adults

 February 09, 2022, 12:30 PM
 Online

Register now!

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

The U.S. Supreme Court landmark case of Roper v. Simmons (2005) barring execution for crimes committed prior to age 18 launched a line of cases extending Eighth Amendment protections for juveniles. These cases clearly established that children are not little adults. The April 2021 SCOTUS decision in Jones v. Mississippi appears to signal a shift from federal constitutional cases to litigation and legislation among the states. This has prompted vigorous debate about how science should inform criminal law and policy regarding late teens and emerging adults and sharpens ongoing controversy about how developmental science is or should be applied to those under 18. This panel surveys the current landscape of cases and legislation focused on crafting developmentally aligned frameworks for responding to misconduct by younger adolescents, late adolescents (ages 18 – 20) and emerging adults (21 – 25), including “raising the age” of full criminal culpability past age 18. The contributions of neuroscience to informing a developmentally aligned jurisprudence for late adolescents and emerging adults will be reviewed.

Panelists

  • Introduction: Carmel Shachar, Executive Director, Petrie-Flom Center
  • Honorable Jay Blitzman (ret.), CLBB Affiliated Faculty and Lecturer, Harvard Law School, Northeastern Law School, and Boston College Law School
  • Lael Chester, JD, Director of the Emerging Adult Justice Project at Columbia University’s Justice Lab
  • 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. 

Center for Law, Brain and Behavior Annual Report, 2020-21

To download the Center for Law, Brain and Behavior Annual Report, 2020-21, please click here.

Book Talk: The Seven Sins of Memory Updated Edition: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers

 October 13, 2021, 12:30 PM, Online Event

View now!

Online Viewing

Event Description

Watching this recording of our discussion on October 13th of the updated edition of The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers with author and William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Daniel Schacter.

This updated edition revisits Professor Schacter’s groundbreaking research with the twenty-first century’s cultural trends and scientific discoveries. This event featured a book talk and a moderated Q&A.

Panelists

  • Introduction and Moderator: Elyssa SpitzerPolicy Analyst, Women’s Initiative, American Progress and Senior Fellow in Law and Applied Neuroscience, CLBB and the Petrie-Flom Center 
  • Daniel L. Schacter, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor, Department of Psychology, Harvard University

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.