Custodite perciò la luce della scienza, fatene uso e non fatene spreco, perché non avvenga che una pioggia di fuoco un giorno ci divori tutti quanti, si, tutti quanti.

(B. Brecht, Vita di Galileo, didascalia della scena XV)

 

... Non si può volare per aria su di un bastone, bisognerebbe che ci fosse dentro una macchina: ma una macchina così non esiste ancora e forse non esisterà mai: perché l'uomo è troppo pesante. Ma naturalmente, non si può dire. Ne sappiamo troppo poco, Giuseppe, troppo poco. Davvero: siamo appena al principio.

(B. Brecht, Vita di Galileo scena XV)

 

dna

 

505 documenti

neurosciencesneurolaw

 

Malcom Coffman
# The Neurological imprint of Incarceration and Its Effect on Recidivism
Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, vol. 37, 2023

 

Vincenzo Auriemma, Gennaro Iorio, Rosalba Morese, Rudina Rama4
Neurosociology: A New Field for Transdisciplinary Social Analysis
Frontiers in Sociology, 26 April 2022
Possible to open a new transdisciplinary Frontier, within which sociology and neuroscience in general. The key concept, from the classics of sociological thought, is based on a discipline that can contain this cultural transformation initiated by the discovery of mirror neurons forward, namely neurosociology. The distinctiveness of this approach warrants the analysis of neurosociology within social processes and how they influence neural function.


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Vladimiro Zagrebelsky
# Biodiritto e detenzione. Orientamenti della Corte europea dei diritti umani sui diritti dei detenuti
BioLaw Journal –Rivista di BioDiritto, n. 4/2022

1. Carcere e biodiritto. – 2. Dall’intimidazione generale all’emenda del condannato.  3. Limitazione della libertà e diritti. – 4. La salute del detenuto. – 5. Detenzione e forme di socialità. – 6. Considerazioni finali


Diego Borbón
# Neurosociology and Penal Neuroabolitionism: Rethinking Justice With Neuroscience
Forntiers in Sociology, 25 January 2022
Penal Neuroabolitionism is a complementary thesis to the sociological abolitionism of Nils Christie, Thomas Mathiesen and Louk Hulsman. This new approach is based on the findings of science, especially neuroscience, to provide new arguments to the abolitionist perspective that criminal law is an illegitimate mechanismof social control. In that sense, it closely approximates neurosociology as a new scope for transdisciplinary social analysis. In this brief opinion, we offer three commentaries for future work: on the neuropsychological effects of prison, on the ability of neuroscience to analyze and prevent criminogenic social factors, and a critical perspective on free will as a narrative to justify criminal law as amechanismof social control. These considerations invite cholars around the world to  study, within the field of neuroscience, the new arguments for penal abolitionism

 

Guglielmo Gulotta, Monica Caponi Beltramo
# Neurodiritti: tra tutela e responsabilità
www.sistemapenale.it/ 1 ottobre 2021

Il pericolo è di ridurre l’uomo alla sola lettura cerebrale che si può ricavare con gli strumenti neurotecnologici, tralasciando tutte quelle dimensioni di consapevolezza, identità e autodeterminazione che da sempre hanno contraddistinto l’essere umano. Così facendo, preziosi strumenti scientifici potrebbero nel concreto rendere il soggetto un mero caso da classificare, normalizzare o escludere, e non più una persona. Il pericolo di un avanzare riduzionistico privo di limitazioni porta a domandarsi cosa rimanga, quindi, della persona e delle sue libertà...

 

Pietro Pietrini (intervista di Valentina Stella)

# Pazzi o criminali? La neuroscienza sfida il diritto penale
 Il Dubbio, 19 agosto 2021

L'obiettivo delle neuroscienze diventa quello di integrare le tecniche ordinarie - il colloquio clinico, l'uso di test psicometrici, la raccolta di dati amnestici contribuendo al processo diagnostico e riducendo la variabilità soggettiva di giudizio dei singoli esperti...

 

Valeria Saladino, Hannah Lin, Elisa Zamparelli, Valeria Verrastro
# Neuroscience, Empathy, and Violent Crime in an Incarcerated Population: A Narrative Review
Frontiers in Psychology, July 2021


Naghmeh Mokhber, David Streiner, Sébastien Prat, Niloofar Nikjoo, Gary Chaimowitz
# Neuroimaging in sexual offenses and paraphilia: A call to harmonize current clinical and imaging assessments in sexual offenses and paraphilia
Fundamentals of Mental Health, 2021 Jan-Feb
Complex model of  neuroanatomical networks may be related to paraphilia. Well-designed national/ international studies using neuroimaging techniques are necessary to elucidate the pathophysiology of paraphilia and follow the cases. Despite all methodological differences among neuroimaging studies in paraphilia, these studies may explain the neurodevelopmental basis of such disorders.

 

Jenny Straiton, Francesca Lake

# Inside the Brain of a Killer: the Ethics of Neuroimaging in a criminal Convictions. With neuroimaging techniques being taken out of the lab and into the court, we ask whether brain scans can – or should – be used to explain a criminal act.
www.BioTechniques.com/ n. 2. 2021
Whenever the concept of neuroimaging as evidence is discussed, the question of criminal responsibility is raised, as well as the notion of free will. Does it indeed exist, and therefore our decisions and actions are more than just neurological processes in the brain? If not, to what extent does the structure of the brain and changes in these processes influence behavior and choices? While a structural difference or anatomical change may explain a crime, is that enough to absolve a criminal? Is even mentioning it worthwhile?

 

Pasquale Stanzione
# Privacy e neurodiritti: la persona al tempo delle neuroscienze
www.garanteprivacy.it/ 28 gennaio 2021
Se, dunque, l’habeas corpus, nel proteggere fin nella sua corporeità la persona da atti coercitivi, ha rappresentato il fondamento dello Stato di diritto e l’habeas data - come diritto di autodeterminazione informativa – ha costituito il baricentro della tutela della persona nella società dell’informazione, l’habeas mentem dovrebbe allora rappresentare il fulcro di veri e propri neurodiritti.

 

Giovanni Canzio
# Intelligenza artificiale, algoritmi e giustizia penale
Sistema Penale, 8 gennaio 2021
Va emergendo il fenomeno dell’utilizzo, da parte di alcune Corti statunitensi (il leading case è identificato in Wisconsin S.C., State v. Loomis, 881, Wis. 2016; v. anche Indiana S.C., Malenchick v. State, 928, Ind. 2010), di tecniche informatiche per misurare il rischio di recidivanza del condannato, ai fini della determinazione dell’entità della pena o di una misura alternativa alla detenzione.

 

Giulio Ubertis
# Intelligenza artificiale, giustizia penale, controllo umano significativo
https://sistemapenale.it/ 11 novembre 2020
1. Pervasività di intelligenza artificiale e diritto: loro ineludibile rapporto. – 2. Indeterminatezza delle nozioni di diritto e di intelligenza artificiale. – 3. Solo apparente neutralità dell’intelligenza artificiale e sua opacità. – 4. La tutela dei diritti fondamentali. – 5. Profili di diritto penale sostanziale. – 6. La predizione di un accadimento. – 7. … in sede giurisdizionale. – 8. Necessità di un “controllo umano significativo”.

 

Federica Coppola
# Humanizing Prison through Social Neuroscience: From the Abolition of Solitary Confinement to the Pursuit of Social Rehabilitation
www.researchgate.net/ october 2020
Employ the neuroscientific knowledge to propose a drastic rethinking of the prison system... Punitiveness, social exclusion, isolation and poor environments may be extremely damaging for the brain and behavior and can consequently pose a serious risk to an individual’s progress toward positive change and reintegration into the community as a socially functional individual... Remarks about the critical but indirect contribution of social neuroscience to making the criminal justice system more humane.

 

Kevin Davis
# Millions have been invested in the emerging field of neurolaw. Where is it leading?
www.abajournal.com/ June 1, 2020

The accused must have knowledge and intent to commit a crime to be considered responsible. But the law assigns varying degrees of culpability based on a person’s mental state—distinguishing whether a person acted intentionally, recklessly or even negligently. Such distinctions may be difficult for judges and juries to discern, which makes assigning guilt and punishment even trickier. Among the studies designed by the MacArthur group was one examining whether brain scans could reveal when someone was acting knowledgeably or recklessly.

 

Katelyn T. Kirk-Provencher, Rebecca J. Nelson-Aguiar, Nichea S. Spillane
# Neuroanatomical Differences Among Sexual Offenders: A Targeted Review with Limitations and Implications
for Future Directions

Violence and Gender, vol.7, n. 3, 2020
Studies suggest that many sexual offenders exhibit neuroanatomical abnormalities compared with normative samples and nonsexual offenders and suggest possible associations between these differences and offending behavior... We suggest future sexual offender research may benefit from focusing on more financially feasible options, such as neuropsychological assessment approaches, to assess for and attend to offenders’ criminogenic and rehabilitative/therapeutic needs in alignment with the risk–need–responsivity model.

 

Marta Bertolino
# L'imputabilità secondo il Codice Penale. Dal Codice Rocco alla legge delega del 2017: paradigmi, giurisprudenza, Commissioni a confronto
https://sistemapenale.it/ 25 febbraio 2020
1. L’infermità degli artt. 88 e 89: le scelte originarie. – 2. (segue) la dottrina penalistica moderna. – 3. Paradigmi di infermità mentale nella giurisprudenza e l’infermità mentale nel canone delle Sezioni unite della cassazione. – 4. Dai Progetti di nuovo codice penale alla legge delega del 2017 e alle relative proposte della Commissione a proposito degli artt. 88 e 89. – 5. Le sfide delle neuroscienze. – 5.1. Le nuove frontiere dell’infermità mentale: dalla ludopatia alle dipendenze da sostanze

 

Fabio Basile
# Intelligenza artificiale e diritto penale: quattro possibili percorsi di indagine
www.penalecontemporaneo.it/ 23 settembre 2019

Anche il diritto penale si deve, quindi, attrezzare per tenere il passo di questa rapidissima evoluzione tecnologica, per non rischiare di soccombere di fronte a quello che si preannuncia essere un nuovo, sconvolgente «shock da modernità», che comporterà problemi «analoghi a quelli che hanno contraddistinto altre “transizioni” tecnologiche: verificare l’idoneità delle norme esistenti ad applicarsi alle nuove tecnologie, così da valutare se sia opportuno, per i legislatori, coniare delle regole ad hoc, nuove, ovvero persistere, non senza possibili forzature avallate, magari, sul piano giurisprudenziale, nell’applicazione delle norme preesistenti».

 

Piergiorgio Strata
Neuroscienza e diritto: un colloquio necessario
Diritto Penale e Uomo – DPU, 2 aprile 2019
1. Premessa. – 2. Tribunali e scienza. – 3. Libero arbitrio. – 4. Dualismo di sostanza e dualismo di proprietà. – 5. Determinismo, probabilità e stocastica. – 6. La nascita della neuroetica. – 7. Acquisizioni neuroscientifiche e diritto penale. – 8. Alla ricerca della causa.

 

Ciro Grandi
# Diritto penale e neuroscienze. Punti fermi (se mai ve ne siano) e questioni aperte
https://dirittopenaleuomo.org/ 02.04.2019
1. Premessa. – 2. Le neuroscienze: minimi cenni ricostruttivi. – 3. Neuroscienze e diritto penale alla stregua del modello radicale-rifondativo. – 4. Neuroscienze e diritto penale alla stregua del modello moderato-compatibilista. – 5. Uno sguardo d’insieme sull’uso “prove neuroscientifiche” nella prassi. – 6. Neuroscienze e giudizio di imputabilità: un primo bilancio. – 7. L’impatto (ancora) limitato delle neuroscienze nel processo penale italiano. Diagnosi e prognosi.

 

Giuseppe Gennari
# Norme processuali e psicologia cognitiva: quali regole migliorano la decisione? Recensione
https://dirittopenaleuomo.org/ 02 Aprile 2019

Non può, poi, non menzionarsi il riferimento alla prova scientifica, resa nel processo americano dall’expert witness, in cui viene sottolineata l’importanza del come l’esperto comunica i propri dati al giudice. Il confronto sperimentale tra la mera rappresentazione del dato (statistico) da parte dell’esperto e l’espressione di una convinzione positiva in ordine al grado di convincimento personale dell’esperto circa le implicazione del dato sulla colpevolezza («sulla base dei dati, penso che Tizio sia responsabile…») hanno evidenziato un incremento del 70% di decisioni sfavorevoli al defendant.

 

Sjors Ligthart, Laura van Oploo, Jesse Meijers, Gerben Meynen, Vrije Universiteit, Tijs Kooijmans
# Prison and the brain: Neuropsychological research in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights
New Journal of European Criminal Law, 2019, Vol. 10(3) 287–300
Prison is by its nature a deliberately impoverished environment, with few physical, mental and social activities. Various studies have shown negative effects of an impoverished environment on animal as well as human brain functions. A recent study in a Dutch remand prison showed that brain functions connected with self-regulation decline after 3 months of imprisonment. Reduced self-regulation appears to be a risk factor for recidivism...

 

Federica coppola
# Motus Animi in Mente Insana: An EmotionOriented Paradigm of Legal Insanity Informed by the Neuroscience of Moral Judgments and Decision-Making
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 2019
Over the past thirty years, neuroscience research has greatly advanced our understanding of the dynamics that underlie decision- making processes leading to moral conduct. One of most relevant insights emerging from this research concerns the critical role that emotions and emotional processes play either in informing or in hindering moral decision-making. In confirmation of this insight, brain-imaging studies on specific psychiatric populations characterized by marked antisocial tendencies have found links  between these conditions and abnormal structure or functioning of the same socio-emotional brain circuits that appear to be significantly involved in  moral decision-making.

 

Domenico Alessandro dè Rossi
# Architettura penitenziaria, diritti umani e qualità della salute. L'affettività in carcere: modelli da ripensare
Giurisprudenza Penale, 2019

L’interazione tra il comportamento umano e l’ambiente appartiene ormai di diritto allo studio delle neuroscienze e di altre discipline collaterali... Le relativamente recenti discipline citate, ma più ancora un nuovo approccio sistemico in cui sia più marcato l’interesse olistico di meglio legare tra loro i fenomeni e le conoscenze, possono aiutare il progettista e auspicabilmente coloro che vivono e lavorano all’interno o in prossimità di queste particolari strutture, a sviluppare sempre più una consapevolezza allargata riguardante il ruolo e l’influenza che l’ambiente fisico assume in particolari circostanze.

 

Jules Lobel, Huda Akil
# Law & Neuroscience: The Case of Solitary Confinement
American Academy of Arts & Sciences, fall 2018
This essay discusses the interface between neuroscience and the law. It underscores the poten tial for neuroscience to break down the division that currently exists in law between physiological and psy chological harm and between physical and mental injury. To show how scientific knowledge can illumi nate a complex legal issue, we analyze the recent use of neuroscience in evaluating the harm caused by pro longed solitary confinement.

 

Maria Beatrice Magro
# Neuroscienze e teorie ottimiste" della pena. Alla ricerca del fondamento ontologico dei bisogni di pena
Diritto Penale Contemporaneo, 16 ottobre 2018

1. La crisi dell’ideale risocializzativo e di prevenzione. – 2. Questioni di prevenzione generale: il fattore intertemporale nella percezione collettiva del rischio penale. – 3. La realtà della pena retributiva come raddoppio di sofferenza. – 4. Ilimiti della finalità proporzional-retributiva della pena nella fase della commisurazione della pena. – 5. La crisi della prevenzione e il modello simbolico, motivazionale e comunicativo delle teorie “ottimiste” della pena. – 6. Prospettive neuro-scientifiche di prevenzione speciale: la pratica individuale del self control. – 7. Prospettive neuro-scientifiche di prevenzione generale: istituzioni e modelli sociali di self control. – 8. Il fondamento ontologico del self control: la plasticità cerebrale. – 9. Le teorie “ottimiste” della pena: la giustizia riparativa.– 10. Teorie “ottimiste” della pena e responsabilità individuale. – 11. Il fondamento empirico-epistemologico della Restorative Justice: l’affect program. – 12. Perché l’uomo ha sviluppato l’affect della vergogna- umiliazione? – 13. Gli studi sulla punizione altruistica e la psicologia comune retributiva: il punto di vista della vittima. – 14. Alla ricerca del fondamento ontologico dei bisogni di pena: la sfida giustificativa. – 15. Ma siamo davvero intuitivamente retributivi? Gli studi sui bisogni altruistici di trasformazione-ravvedimento del reo: una base epistemologica per la giustizia riparativa. – 16. Per chiudere il circolo vizioso

 

Federica Coppola
# Mapping the Brain to Predict Antisocial Behaviour: New Frontiers in Neurocriminology,'New' Challenges for Criminal Justice
UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence - 2018

Neuroprediction might be a useful tool to help criminal justice systems shift from a punitive to a more socio-rehabilitative approach to criminality. Growing evidence emanating from behavioural and neuroscientific disciplines shows that the brain and mental dynamics that underpin antisocial decisionmaking are often featured by alterations in emotion processing, moral reasoning, moral judgement, and self-control – alterations that affect an individual’s ability to make socially appropriate decisions and engage in socially acceptable conduct. With this emotion-oriented understanding of antisocial decision-making, it is hypothesized that socially scarce environments – like prisons – produce negative effects on the activity of specific socioemotional regions of the brain (notably, the amygdala) that are key to social behaviour...

 

Inka Ristowa, Meng Lia, Lejla Colica, Vanessa Marra, Carina Födischa, Felicia von Düringa, Kolja Schiltzd, Krasimira Drumkova, Joachim Witzel, Henrik Walter, Klaus Beierg, Tillmann H.C. Kruger, Jorge Ponseti, Boris Schifferj, Martin Walter
# Pedophilic sex offenders are characterised by reduced GABA concentration in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex
NeuroImage: Clinical, Volume 18, 2018, Pages 335-341
We found a metabolic correlate of inhibition in pedophilic patients with a history of child sexual offending reflected by reduced GABA concentrations in the dACC. Moreover, lower GABA/Cr in patients was correlated with lower self-control and ADHD-like symptom reports. The findings of our study depict necessity and feasibility to investigate the role of metabolites in the brain and to perform tasks including measures of cognitive control and response inhibition in future pedophilic disorder studies.

 

Owen D. Jones, Anthony D. Wagner
# Law and Neuroscience: Progress, Promise, and Pitfalls
https://papers.ssrn.com/ Vanderbilt Law Research Paper 18 - 32, July 2018
In this review, we have highlighted a few illustrative legal problems on which neuroscience research is beginning to yield potentially informative data, as well as others in which the science suggests it is premature to move from the lab to the courtroom (for other overviews, see Jones et al, 2013b; Jones et al, 2014a). Concurrently, we have considered the categories of potential relevance for neuroscience evidence, along with cross-cutting caveats. The growth of neurolaw – – which crucially depends on interdisciplinary interactions –– has produced significant progress and suggests promise. At the same time, there is ample cause for caution, lest over-exuberance pave a path to pitfall

 

Andrea Bonomi
# Le neuroscienze in rapporto alla libertà morale: aspetti di diritto costituzionale
www.forumcostituzionale.it/ 26 gennaio 2018
1. Le neuroscienze e la libertà morale. – 2. La delimitazione del “concetto” di libertà morale. – 3. Libertà morale e Costituzione. – 4. Libertà morale, art. 13 Cost. e art. 188 cod. proc. pen.: rapporti reciproci. – 5. Alcune osservazioni sui principi del nemo tenetur se detegere e della dignità della persona umana: implicazioni con la libertà morale. – 6. Una proposta conclusiva. –

 

Luca Santa Maria, Mario Iannucci
# Prove di dialogo tra psichiatra-psicoanalista e giurista a proposito di neuroscienze e diritto penale
www.penalecontemporaneo.it/ 11 gennaio 2018
Il problema mente – cervello è tra i più difficili. Che la mente non sia quando il cervello non c’è è sicuro almeno quanto il fatto che se il cervello c’è la mente può non essere, è chiaro. Come il cervello produca la mente, invece, è (ancora?) molto meno chiaro....

 

Mario Iannucci
# Le neuroscienze, la "neuropsicologia" e la pretesa "rifondazione del diritto". Il punto di vista di Ivan Karamazov e quello di Sigmund Freud
www.penalecontemporaneo.it/ 8 gennaio 2018
Ci sarebbe da interrogarsi sull’interesse attuale del mondo giuridico a proposito del carattere innovativo e “scientifico” delle nuove neuroscienze nel campo della expertise sulla responsabilità del soggetto autore di reato. A partire dalle splendide considerazioni di Musil a proposito della vicenda Moosbrugger, quando ci rammenta come “l’angelo della medicina, dopo avere ascoltato per un po’ le dissertazioni dei giuristi, dimentichi molto spesso la propria missione. Egli ripiega allora le ali fruscianti, e si comporta nelle aule dei tribunali come un angelo di complemento della giurisprudenza”.

 

Christoph Bublitz
# “The Soul is the Prison of the Body” – Mandatory Moral Enhancement, Punishment & Rights Against Neuro-Rehabilitation
Forthcoming in: David Birks and Thomas Douglas, eds. Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal  Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

 

Luca Santa Maria
# Diritto penale sospeso tra neuroscienze ancor giovani e una metafisica troppo antica
www.penalecontemporaneo.it/ 19 dicembre 2017
Se è vero che la neuroscienza è un sistema più onesto e razionale di capire l’uomo, cioè di capire chi io sia, e invece la psicologia del diritto penale è folcloristica se considerata psicologia naturale e crudele se è considerata psicologia eticizzata, allora il diritto penale dovrà cambiare e anche presto aprendo alla neuroscienza tutte le porte e le finestre che ha.

 

Fabio Basile, Giuseppe Vallar
# Neuroscienze e diritto penale: le questioni sul tappeto
www.penalecontemporaneo.it/ 12 dicembre 2017
Introduzione. – 2. Che cosa sono le neuroscienze? – 3. Una “rifondazione” su basi neuroscientifiche del diritto penale? – 4. Una “collaborazione” delle neuroscienze al diritto penale? – 4.1. “Collaborazione” in sede di accertamento della in-imputabilità. – 4.2. “Collaborazione” in sede di accertamento della immaturità psichica del minore ultraquattordicenne. – 4.3. “Collaborazione” in sede di accertamento della pericolosità sociale. – 4.4. “Collaborazione” in sede di verifica della attendibilità delle dichiarazioni rese nel processo. – 4.5. “Collaborazione” in sede di accertamento del dolo. – 5. Una strada spianata o un percorso irto di ostacoli alla “collaborazione” tra diritto penale e neuroscienze? – 5.1. Gli ostacoli frapposti dalla legge penale. – 5.2. Gli ostacoli frapposti dallo stesso dibattito neuroscientifico. – 6. Considerazioni conclusive.

 

Raul Gonzalez, Ileana Pacheco-Colón, Jacqueline C. Duperrouzel, Samuel W. Hawes
# Does Cannabis Use Cause Declines in Neuropsychological Functioning? A Review of Longitudinal Studies
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (2017), 23, 893–902
The aim of this article is to provide a critical evaluation and review of research that uses longitudinal designs to examine the link between cannabis use and neuropsychological functioning. In summarizing the primary findings across these studies, this review suggests that cannabis use leads to neuropsychological decline. However, across most studies, these associations were modest, were present only for the group with the heaviest cannabis use, and were often attenuated (or no longer significant) after controlling for potential confounding variables...

 

B Schiffer, T Amelung, A Pohl, C Kaergel, G Tenbergen, H Gerwinn, S Mohnke, C Massau, W Matthias, S Weiß, V Marr, KM Beier, M Walter, J Ponseti, THC Krüger, K Schiltz, H Walter
# Gray matter anomalies in pedophiles with and without a history of child sexual offending
Translational Psychiatry 7, 2017
The present study substantiates the idea that CSO (child sexual offenders) in pedophilia rather than pedophilia alone is associated with changes in GM (gray matter) integrity, particularly in the right temporal pole. The risk of (re)offending was associated with a GM reduction in the dorsomedial PFC/ACC (prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex). Both findings indicate that morphometric markers associated with CSO in pedophiles may be potentially useful for the treatment or prevention approaches that aim to reduce the risk of (re)offending in pedophilia.

 

Meredith Cusick
# Mens Rea and Methamphetamine: High Time for a Modern Doctrine Acknowledging the Neuroscience of Addiction
Fordham Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 2417, 2017
Neuroscience research reveals that drug addiction results in catastrophic damage to the brain resulting in cognitive and behavioral deficits. Methamphetamine addiction is of particular interest to criminal law because it causes extensive neural destruction and is associated with impulsive behavior, violent crime, and psychosis. Furthermore, research has revealed important distinctions between the effects of acute intoxication and addiction. These findings have implications for the broader doctrine of mens rea and, specifically, the intoxication doctrines. This Note argues for the adoption of an addiction doctrine that acknowledges the effect of addiction on mens rea that is distinct from doctrines of intoxication.

 

Giovanna Parmigiani, Gabriele Mandarelli, Gerben Meynen, Lorenzo Tarsitani, Massimo Biondi, Stefano Ferracuti
# Free will, neuroscience, and choice: towards a decisional capacity model for insanity defense evaluations Libero arbitrio, neuroscienze e scelta: verso un modello basato sulla capacità decisionale per la valutazione dell’imputabilità
Riv Psichiatr 2017; 52(1): 9-15
The theoretical debate on free will constitutes a topic of great interest for forensic psychiatrists as different views of free will could accordingly affect a defendant’s accountability in different ways. In this sense, the concept of free will is crucial in forensic psychiatry where at present evaluations rely mainly on notions such as sense of agency, capability to do otherwise and to act for an intelligible reason.

 

Melissa R. Arbuckle, Michael J. Travis, DavidA. Ross
# Integrating a Neuroscience Perspective Into Clinical Psychiatry Today
JAMA Psychiatry April 2017 Volume 74, Number 4
We focus on 5 core neuroscience themes relevant to a clinical case of apatientwith posttraumatic stress disorder. For each theme,we discuss its current and potential future relevance to clinical practice. We also discuss the relationship of each theme to psychological and social perspectives. Our ultimate aim is to capture something akin to “neuroscience literacy”: what do we hope a practicing psychiatrist would think about when sitting with a patient with posttraumatic stress disorder?Whatare the core concepts he or shemay call on? At what levelwouldwe hope that he or she could discuss these   findings with a patient or a family member?

 

Marta Bertolino
# Le parole del diritto e le parole della scienza: un difficile dialogo su questioni di prova penale
Vita e Pensiero, 2, 2017
1. Scienza e diritto di fronte alla prova. - 2. La scienza del processo: criteri di scientificità a confronto. - 3. Questioni aperte e rilievi critici a proposito dei giudizi di scientificità e affidabilità scientifica del sapere esperto. - 4. Quale giudice per quale conoscenza specialistica.

 

Francis X. Shen
# Law and Neuroscience 2.0
http://arizonastatelawjournal.org/ 2017
Neurolaw will succeed if it can do what other successful bodies of knowledge do: improve health, generate wealth, promote justice, and make the world a better place. The ingredients to do this are before us. We have rapidly developing and well-funded neuroscience. We have many pressing social and legal challenges to which that neuroscience might apply. And we have —thanks to the pioneers in the first waves of neurolaw— a strong foundation on which to build. But, as the quotes at the top of this Part suggest, we have to walk a tightrope. We need imagination, but not too much. We need excitement, but not over-exuberance. We need passion, but also patience...

 

Matthias Mahlmann
# Mind and Rights: Neuroscience, Philosophy and the Foundations of Legal Justice
in: M. Sellers (ed.), Law, Reason and Emotion, CUP, 2017

Human rights are not trivia. They are more than playthings to satisfy one’s intellectual ludic drive. Human rights are not means to solve all the world’s problems. But much depends on rights, including important goods of individuals, sometimes even their dignity and life. A decent level of civilization cannot be maintained without them. This is of great importance for those who suffer from human rights violations. It is of some significance as well for all those belonging to the perhaps not so small group of people who cannot breathe freely because of the continuing tragedy of human folly and pain and therefore long for the occasional relief of fresh air bestowed by some steps towards a culture of human decency.

 

Alessandro Corda
# L'incerto futuro dei metodi di esecuzione della pena di morte negli Stati Uniti. Scenari emergenti dopo la sentenza Glossip v. Gross
Rivista Italiana di Diritto e Procdedura Penale, Anno LX Fasc. 1 - 2017
1. Introduzione. — 2. La pena di morte in America, oggi. — 3. I metodi di esecuzione e la giurisprudenza della Corte Suprema. — 4. La resistibile ascesa dell’iniezione letale: dagli esordi al caso Baze v. Rees. — 5. L’assedio globale alla pena capitale eseguita mediante iniezione letale. La strada verso Glossip v. Gross. — 6. Lamajority opinion del giudice Alito. — 7. L’opinione dissenziente del giudice Sotomayor. — 8. L’applicazione della pena di morte negli Stati Uniti tra passato e futuro. — 9. (Segue): L’iniezione letale tra rinnovamento e sostituzione. — 10. Considerazioni conclusive.

 

Owen D. Jones
# Keynote: Law and the Brain – Past, Present, and Future
Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 48, 2017

... Biology is the study of what happens when genes and environments interact, which is the only way brains—or any other physiological feature for that matter—get built. So the false dichotomization of genes and environment—as if they were alternatives rather than inevitable partners—was pernicious. In much the same way it would be if we were to argue about whether it is the length or alternatively the width of a rectangle that defines its area...

 

Cara M. Altimus
# Neuroscience Has the Power to Change the Criminal Justice System
eNeuro.org January/February 2017

As neuroscientists, our understanding of one of the most complex biological systems known has the potential to change the way the justice system operates. Although it may go against the scientific norm of distance and neutrality, society as a whole, and the criminal justice system in particular, would benefit from active collaboration between the neurological sciences and the criminal justice system. The payoff for all of us could reach as far as it has in traditional medicine.

 

Laura Pignatel, Victor Genevès
# État de l'art "droit et neurosciences"

Mission de recherche – Droit & Justice, 2016
Le neurodroit quant à lui, qui est la traduction du néologisme anglais « neurolaw », désigne ce nouveau champ de recherche consacré à la rencontre entre le droit et les neurosciences. Le neurodroit reflète à lui seul la place croissante qu’occupent les neurosciences dans la société. Nouveau champ de recherches à la mode, le neurodroit a fait ses débuts aux Etats-Unis et désormais, la majorité des publications sur ce sujet sont anglo-saxonnes et émanent de l’université de Vanderbilt, située à Nashville dans le Tennessee  et du « Research network on Law and Neuroscience » financé par la célèbre Mac Arthur Foundation...

 

Brian T.M. Mammarella
# An Evidence-Based Objection to Retributive Justice
Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics, Vol. 16 | Issue 2016
Advancements in neuroscience and related fields are beginning to show, with increasing clarity, that certain human behaviors stem from uncontrolled, mechanistic causes. These discoveries beg the question: If a given behavior results from some combination of biological predispositions, neurological circumstances, and environmental influences, is that action unwilled and therefore absolved of all attributions of credit, blame, and responsibility? A number of scholars in law and neuroscience who answer "yes" have considered how the absence of free will should impact criminal law's willingness to justify punishments on the basis of retribution, with some arguing that criminal law ought to dispense with retributive justice because the concept of blameworthiness is out of touch with scientific reality. 

 

Francis X. Shen
# Law and Neuroscience 2.0
http://arizonastatelawjournal.org/ 2016
Law and neuroscience is approaching an inflection point. It has been roughly ten years since the New York Times Magazine put neurolaw on its cover, since Stanford neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky wrote his seminal article, “The Frontal Cortex and the Criminal Justice System”; and since law professor Adam Kolber taught the first law and neuroscience course. The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience, which has been one of the epicenters of the field over this same period, will wind down its primary research projects soon.

 

Markus Heilig, David H. Epstein, Michael A. Nader, Yavin Shaham
# Time to connect: bringing social context into addiction neuroscience
Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 September ; 17(9): 592–599
Social epidemiology has established a strong link between poor social integration and behaviours that result in alcohol and drug use. Although few neuroscientists would negate the importance of these social factors in addiction, aspects of social integration — such as social inclusion or exclusion — have so far typically not been incorporated into neurobiological studies of addiction. We think that the different ways in which social interactions — positive and negative — influence addiction can be incorporated into these studies.

 

Debra Austin, Rob Dur
# Emotion Regulation for Lawyers: A Mind Is a Challenging Thing to Tame
Wyoming Law Review, Vol. 16, 2016
With a knowledge of brain structure, autonomic nervous system function, how emotions arise in the brain, brain optimization, and the importance of emotion regulation, lawyers are empowered to improve how they work with each   other and how they serve clients. To enhance the neuro-capacity for emotion regulation, lawyers can embrace regular exercise and plan to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. To increase focus, lawyers can learn and practice meditation. To minimize the stress response and improve awareness, lawyers can employ a mindfulness practice. Science shows that these recommendations can improve lawyer emotion regulation, wellbeing, and performance. 

 

Chiao‑Yun Chen, Adrian Raine, Kun‑Hsien Chou, I‑Yun Chen, Daisy Hung, Ching‑Po Lin
# Abnormal white matter integrity in rapists as indicated by diffusion tensor imaging
BMC Neuroscience, 2016
To our knowledge, this is the first study indicating white matter abnormalities in rapists. Findings indicate abnormalities in white matter connectivity in brain regions involved in reward/motivation and moral judgment, which may predispose rapists to be both over-responsive to sexual reward stimuli and also to make inappropriate moral decisions.

 

Iris Vilares, Michael Wesley, Woo-Young Ahn, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Stephen J. Morse, Gideon Yaffe, Terry Lohrenz, Read Montague

# Predicting the Knowledge-Recklessness Distinction in the Human Brain, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

PNAS Early Edition, 2016
Criminal convictions require proof that a prohibited act was performed in a statutorily specified mental state. Different legal consequences, including greater punishments, are mandated for those who act in a state of knowledge, compared with a state of recklessness. Existing research, however, suggests people have trouble classifying defendants as knowing, rather than reckless, even when instructed on the relevant legal criteria. We used a machine-learning technique on brain imaging data to predict, with high accuracy, which mental state our participants were in. This predictive ability depended on both the magnitude of the risks and the amount of information about those risks possessed by the participants. Our results provide neural evidence of a detectable difference in the mental state of knowledge in contrast to recklessness and suggest, as a proof of principle, the possibility of inferring from brain data in which legally relevant category a person belongs.

 

Sarah W. Feldstein Ewing, Susan F. Tapert, Brooke S.G. Molina
# Uniting adolescent neuroimaging and treatment research: Recommendations in pursuit of improved integration
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 March ; 62: 109–114
Many clinicians who provide mental health treatment find developmental neuroscience discoveries to be exciting. However, the utility of these findings often seem far removed from everyday clinical care. Thus, the goal of this article is to offer a bridge to connect the fields of applied adolescent treatment and developmental neuroscience investigation. An overview of the relevance of developmental neuroscience in adolescent direct practice and a rationale for how and why this integration could benefit adolescent treatment outcomes is provided. Finally, a series of practical suggestions is generated for enhancing collaborative, interdisciplinary work that ultimately advances treatment response for this important clinical population.

 

Jason P. Kerkmans, Lyn M. Gaudet
# Daubert on the Brain: How New Mexico's Daubert Standard Should Inform Its Handling of Neuroimaging Evidence
New Mexico Review, vol. 46, n. 2, 2016
In their rejection of Frye and adoption of a Daubert approach, the New Mexico Supreme Court indicated that courts should favor current scientific understanding over jurisprudential recognitions of scientific understandings.The Court has also required the state’s trial courts to independently determine if reliability is sufficiently established. Similarly, there are federal level appellate courts that have favored admitting testimony based on conflicting science if support is shown for the general scientific theory or technique being proffered. 

 

Gwyneth Zai et al.
# Rapporteur summaries of plenary, symposia, and oral sessions from the XXIIIrd World Congress of Psychiatric
Genetics Meeting in Toronto, Canada, 16–20 October 2015
Psychiatric Genetics 2016, 26:229–257
The XXIIIrd World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics meeting, sponsored by the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, was held in Toronto, ON, Canada, on 16–20 October 2015. Approximately 700 participants attended to discuss the latest state-of-the-art findings in this rapidly advancing and evolving field. The following report was written by trainee travel awardees. Each was assigned one session as a rapporteur. This manuscript represents the highlights and topics that were covered in the plenary sessions, symposia, and oral sessions during the conference, and contains major notable and new findings.

 

John B. Meixner, Jr.
# The use of neuroscience evidence in criminal proceedings
Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 1–6, 2016

This is a wonderful time for those interested in law and neuroscience because the field is so new, and significant basic work remains to be done. This set of papers provides one such critical early impact. The papers provide strong evidence that neuroscience has an important future in the law, and while there are undoubtedly limited uses of neuroscience evidence as the science currently stands, those limitations are likely to become smaller as technology and knowledge improve. Research on the courts’ use of neuroscience evidence, like these studies, will thus continue to be important as the field grows.

 

Matthew Ginther
# Neuroscience or neurospeculation? Peer commentary on four articles examining the prevalence of neuroscience n criminal cases around the world
Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 1–6, 2016
There is a certain allure to neuroscience. It is easy to understand why a field that seeks to understand the intricacies of the human mind has such wide appeal.The widespread use of neuro- as the ‘prefix du jour’ would suggest that there is also a general belief that neuroscientific approaches to  old problems hold the promise of new answers. Thelaw has not been exempt from this promise.Quite the opposite, the potential for neuroscience to provide new answers to the legal problems has generated substantial andwidespread excitement...

 

John R. Shook, James Giordano
# Neuroethics beyond Normal. Performance Enablement and Self-Transformative Technologies
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (2016), 25 , 121 – 140
Genuinely neuroethical recommendations should be guided by authentically neuroethical deliberations. The need for those deliberations has become urgent. Essential matters on which familiar legal rules and ethical principles are predicated—the nature of the human “body,” the “person” worthy of respect, and the “self” in its autonomy—are no longer fi xed landmarks for drawing rigid baselines. 

 

Manish A. Fozdar
# The Relevance of Modern Neuroscience to Forensic Psychiatry Practice
J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 44:145–50, 2016
Neuroscience can contribute greatly to the forensic practice. Neuroscientists and clinicians should take a visible role in informing the legal community and the public of newly gained insights into brain functioning. They must speak out loudly against the misuse of neuroscience in the courtroom. Neuroscientific evidence alone should not be offered to assert the inability to form the requisite intent to commit the crime.

 

Stephen J. Morse
# Actions speak louder than images: the use of neuroscientific evidence in criminal cases
Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 1–7, 2016
The ultimate guide to wisdom about the proper use of neuroscientific evidence is a keen understanding of legal relevance, which in turn requires an equally keen understanding of the legal question at issue.The question in any case, then, is how, precisely, does neuroscience evidence help decide whether an act or mental state criterion was present at the relevant time. Past mental state questions include the act doctrine, mens rea, legal insanity, and sentencing based on culpability. Present mental state questions include various criminal competencies and sentencing based on prediction of future dangerousness...

 

Ed Johnston
# Brain Scanning and Lie Detectors: The Implications for Fundamental Defence Rights
European Journal of Current Legal Issues, vol. 22, n. 2 (2016)
This paper will examine how advancing neuroscientific technologies may impact on the fundamental human rights of the citizen accused. The paper takes an exploratory approach to analysis; the techniques explored throughout the paper are in their infancy and yet to permeate the criminal justice process of England and Wales. As such develops, other jurisdictions may start relying on the technology and they may be utilized more frequently in criminal trials in countries around the world; which may influence the techniques use in England and Wales. The paper will argue that adversarial criminal justice process of England and Wales should be concerned with both the domestic and international developments in "lie detection" technology...

 

Karolina Sörman, John F. Edens, Shannon Toney Smith, John W. Clark, Marianne Kristiansson, Olof Svensson
# Law and Human Behavior. Boldness and Its Relation to Psychopathic Personality: Prototypicality Analyses Among Forensic Mental Health, Criminal Justice, and Layperson Raters
American Psychological Association, 2016
Research on psychopathic personality has been dominated by a focus on criminality and social deviance, but some theoretical models argue that certain putatively adaptive features are important components of this construct. In 3 samples (forensic mental health practitioners, probation officers and a layperson community sample), we investigated adaptive traits as conceptualized in the Triarchic model of psychopathy, specifically the relevance of boldness to construals of psychopathic personality.

 

Jennifer S. Bard
# “Ah Yes, I Remember It Well”: Why the Inherent Unreliability of Human Memory Makes Brain Imaging
Technology a Poor Measure of Truth-Telling in the Courtroom
Oregon Law Review, vol. 94, n. 2, 2016

“After decades of concerted effort on the part of neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers, only one proposition about how the brain makes us conscious—how it gives rise to sensation, feeling, subjectivity—has emerged unchallenged: we don’t have a clue.”

 

Paul Catley
# The Future of Neurolaw
European Journal of Current Legal Issues, vol. 22, n. 2 (2016)
Neuroscience has already affected court decisions and will continue to do so. Neuroimaging evidence can be the difference between life and death for some convicted of capital offences in the United States. In courts around the world it is being introduced to provide evidence as to the cause and extent of injuries. Neuroscientific evidence is being introduced to provide evidence of the mental state of defendants. It cannot provide evidence as to what an accused was thinking or intending at the time that the offence was committed; but it can provide evidence to support or counter arguments about for example abnormality of mental functioning or fitness to plead. Neuroscientific evidence is not alone in being able to do this. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other medical practitioners have given evidence in the courtroom on these matters for many years...

 

Elizabeth Shaw
# Psychopathy, Moral Understanding and Criminal Responsibility
European Journal of Current Legal Issues, vol. 22, n. 2 (2016)
Although psychopaths make up less than 1% of the population, researchers in the United States have estimated that psychopaths may be responsible for up to 30% of violent crimes committed in the United States.  A number of theorists have argued that psychopaths should be excused from criminal responsibility on the basis that they lack the ability to empathise a capacity which these theorists regard as important to genuine moral understanding. This argument is of relevance to both English and Scottish law. In these jurisdictions, psychopathy cannot provide a basis for completely relieving an individual from criminal responsibility.

 

Lisa Claydon, Caroline Rödiger
# Fear, loss of control and cognitive neuroscience
European Journal of Current Legal Issues, vol. 22, n. 2 (2016)
The article considers how the fear of serious violence might be interpreted in the future by the English courts; and whether the jury will be able to appreciate the circumstances of an abused person when evaluating his or her actions. It will also consider how expert evidence may or may not help and what neuroscience tells us about the emotional states of anger and fear. Finally, it concludes by considering the question are these emotional states separable and, if they are not, will that pose a difficulty for jurors?

 

Yanli Zhang-James, Stephen V. Faraone
# Genetic Architecture for Human Aggression: A Study of Gene–Phenotype Relationship in OMIM
Am J Med Genet Part B 171B:641–649, 2016
Genetic studies of human aggression have mainly focused on known candidate genes and pathways regulating serotonin and dopamine signaling and hormonal functions. These studies have taught us much about the genetics of human aggression, but no genetic locus has yet achieved genome-significance. We here present a review based on a paradoxical hypothesis that studies of rare, functional genetic variations can lead to a better under-standing of the molecular mechanisms underlying complex multifactorial disorders such as aggression...

 

Hannah Wishart
# Young Minds, Old Legal Problems: Can Neuroscience fill the Void?
European Journal of Current Legal Issues, vol. 22, n. 2 (2016)
From 10 years of age the criminal law requires a person demonstrate a reasonable degree of normative competence. But what if a young person aged between 10-14 does not possess such mental capacities, cannot do anything about it, and is not capable of holding responsibility? Should the criminal law make allowances for him in these circumstances? I will argue that it should, because neuroscientific studies reveal young adolescents to be incapable of exercising normative competence. For evidence suggests that they are only capable of performing basic mental functions, for instance, selfdirected reasoning and appreciating shortterm consequences of their actions

 

Joshua W. Buckholtz, Valerie Reyna, Christopher Slobogin
# A Neuro-Legal Lingua Franca: Bridging Law and Neuroscience on the Issue of Self-Control
Vanderbilt University Law School - Public Law and Legal Theory - Working Paper Number 16-32
Neuroscientists are rapidly adding to our understanding of human behavior. This article argues that if the law wants the full benefits of neuro-scientific knowledge, it should attempt to develop a lingua franca—a method of communication understandable to both scientists and lawyers—based on neuro-scientific concepts. As a demonstration of such an attempt, we describe in a preliminary way how the criminal law’s concept of self-control might be operationalized using constructs, domains, processes and tasks familiar to neuroscientists....

 

Andrea Lavazza
# Criminali, questione di cervello. Intervista ad Adrian Raine
www.avvenire.it/ 25 febbraio 2016

Ciò che oggi sappiamo con maggiore certezza riguarda il fatto che il crimine non è provocato soltanto da un ambiente sfavorevole, dove per ambiente si intende i genitori, l’abitazione, il vicinato... Il crimine è causato anche da un cattivo funzionamento del cervello a livello biologico. Si tratta di un’idea che è stata contrastata dagli scienziati sociali, ma non sembra vi siano più dubbi, almeno dal punto di vista scientifico, sul ruolo della biologia nella genesi del crimine. Siamo però all’inizio.

# Elisabetta Sirgiovanni, Le origini del cervello criminale, Il Sole 24 Ore, 28 febbraio 2016

 

Esther Lau
# Connectome: dancing through neuronal circuits
www.thelancet.com/ January 19, 2016
“I am more than my genes! What am I? I am my connectome.” Such were the words of computational neuroscientist Sebastian Seung (Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton, NJ, USA) in his TED Conference speech in 2010. He proposed that our connectome, the particular wiring of our brain, is what shapes our identity...

 

Nita A. Farahany
# Neuroscience and behavioral genetics in US criminal law: an empirical analysis
Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 2016
The goal of this study was to examine the growing use of neurological and behavioral genetic evidence by criminal defendants in US criminal law. Judicial opinions issued between 2005–12 that discussed the use of neuroscience or behavioral genetics by criminal defendants were identified, coded and analysed. Yet, criminal defendants are increasingly introducing such evidence to challenge defendants’ competency, the effectiveness of defense counsel at trial, and to mitigate punishment.

 

Gerben Meynen
# Neurolaw: Recognizing opportunities and challenges for psychiatry
J Psychiatry Neurosci 2016;41(1)
Overenthusiasm is a risk, because currently there are serious limitations to the application of neuroscience to the forensic psychiatric context. Overcriticism is not helpful either. Neuroscience is such an enormous and multifaceted endeavour that we should be open to its possible contribution to (forensic) psychiatry... In the near future, neuroscience may support forensic psychiatric diagnosis, prediction and intervention. This possibility should be taken very seriously, which means that it should neither be received with overcriticism nor with overenthusiasm. Neurolaw research aims to balance these 2 challenges. The chance of success will increase if psychiatrists actively participate in the developments.

 

Nicholas Scurich, Paul Appelbaum
# The blunt-edged sword: genetic explanations of misbehavior neither mitigate nor aggravate punishment
Journal of Law and the Biosciences, December 2015
The most frequently discussed relationship between a genetic trait and socially disapproved behaviors involves the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene and antisocial behavior. A foundational study reported that the presence of a low- ctivity allele of MAOA in males markedly increased rates of antisocial behavior, but only when combined with a history of childhood maltreatment. Many studies attempting to confirm these findings followed, usually but not always successful; these studies were often based on secondary analyses of data collected for other purposes, using a variety of definitions of maltreatment and antisocial behavior. One recent meta-analysis, which included 20 studies involving over 5800 male participants—supported the association between MAOA and antisocial behavior by maltreated boys. However, another metaanalysis, which included an overlapping, but not identical set of studies, demonstrated a main effect of the low-activity allele, but no interaction with maltreatment. It seems clear that the exact nature of the relationship remains to be definitively determined

 

Simone Penasa
# Giudice “Ercole” o giudice “Sisifo”? Gli effetti del dato scientifico sull’esercizio della funzione giurisdizionale in casi scientificamente connotati
www.forumcostituzionale.it/ 17 dicembre 2015
L’esempio più paradigmatico è senza dubbio rappresentato da quei casi, tendenti a valutare la responsabilità in ambito penale, nei quali applicazioni avanzate dell’analisi neuronale – le neuroscienze – e di quella genetica vengono utilizzate al fine della configurabilità di un elemento del reato (imputabilità). Nella sentenza sul caso conosciuto come Bayout, la Corte d’Assise d’Appello di Trieste ha basato la decisione di rivalutare la decisione operata dal G.U.P. in primo grado di non concedere la riduzione di pena di un terzo per difetto parziale di imputabilità sulle risultanze di indagini genetiche svolte sul DNA dell’imputato, le quali avevano riscontrato la presenza degli alleli (per il gene MAOA) che «in base a numerosi studi internazionali riportati sinora in letteratura, sono stati riscontrati conferire un significativo aumento del rischio di sviluppo di comportamento aggressivo, impulsivo (socialmente inaccettabile)».

 

Georgia Martha Gkotsi, Jacques Gasser
# Critique de l’utilisation des neurosciences dans les expertises psychiatriques : le cas de la responsabilité pénale
L’évolution psychiatrique, 2015

 

Luca Sammicheli, Giuseppe Sartori
# Accertamenti tecnici ed elemento soggettivo del reato
www.penalecontemporaneo.it/ 12 Novembre 2015
1. Neuroscienze tra mind reading e insanity defense. - 2. Considerazioni psicologico-forensi. - 3. La perizia/consulenza tecnica sull'elemento soggettivo del reato. - 3.1. L'individuazione del tema di indagine tecnica relativo all'elemento soggettivo. - 3.2. I possibili contributi teorici e tecnici delle scienze del comportamento. - 4. Casistica. - 5. Conclusioni.

 

Umberto Castiello, Raffaele Caterina, Mario De Caro, Luisella De Cataldo, Stefano Ferracuti, Antonio Forza, Natale Fusaro, Guglielmo Gulotta, Francesco Mauro Iacoviello, Cataldo Intrieri, Andrea Lavazza, Andrea Mascherin, Silvia Pellegrini, Pietro Pietrini, Rino Rumiati, Luca Sammicheli, Giuseppe Sartori, Giulio Squassoni, Andrea Stracciari
# Le capacità giuridiche alla luce delle neuroscienze. Memorandum Patavino
9 Ottobre 2015
Perché malvagio nessuno è di sua volontà, ma il malvagio diviene malvagio per qualche sua prava disposizione del corpo e per un allevamento senza educazione, e queste cose sono odiose a ciascuno e gli capitano contro sua voglia. Platone, (Timeo, 86 e)

 

Roberto Conti (ed)
# I giudici e il biodiritto. Un esame concreto dei casi difficile e del ruolo del giudice di merito, della Cassazione e delle Corti europee
Quaderni di biodiritto, 2015

 

Raz Yirmiya, Neta Rimmerman, Ronen Reshef
# Depression as a Microglial Disease
Trends in Neurosciences, October 2015, Vol. 38, No. 10
Early-life stress, trauma, and adversity are major risk factors for the development of depression. Early stress alters immune functioning at the time of exposure, but it can also change immune, endocrine, neural, and behavioral responsiveness to various stressful challenges later in life and contribute to various psychopathologies. Given the important role of microglia for brain and behavior development, early stress-induced alterations in microglia may be particularly important for conferring vulnerability to depression. 

 

Benedict Carey, # Head of Mental Health Institute Leaving for Google Life Sciences, www.nytimes.com/ Sept. 15, 2015

Antonio Regalado, # Why America’s Top Mental Health Researcher Joined Alphabet. Tom Insel explains why he’s ready to give Silicon Valley a try, www.technologyreview.com/ MIT Technology Review, September 21, 2015

Heidi Ledford, # Director of US mental-health institute leaves for Google. Thomas Insel turned the institution's focus towards biological roots of psychiatric disorders, www.nature.com/ 15 September 2015

Alexei Oreskovic, # Google is doubling down on biotech, http://uk.businessinsider.com/ Aug. 21, 2015

 

Davide Rigoni, Luca Sammicheli, Giuseppe Sartori
# Looking for the right intention: can neuroscience benefit from the law?
www.frontiersin.org | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, August 2015
Neuroscience is supposed to influence the law, not just by proposing a different anthropological model of a human being, but also by investigating, at the empirical level, the neural bases of human volition. The first attempt to tackle scientifically the problem of free will was conducted in the early ‘80s by Benjamin Libet and his colleagues... 

 

Samuel Occhi, Manuela Martinez, Luis Moya-Albiol
# Il ruolo della neurocriminologia nella costruzione di un profilo criminologico dell’omicida seriale
Rivista di Criminologia, Vittimologia e Sicurezza – Vol. IX – N. 2 – Maggio-Agosto 2015
La frequenza degli omicidi seriali negli Stati Uniti ha avuto un picco storico negli anni ’80 del XX secolo e la maggior parte dei casi ha visto come protagonisti persone di razza bianca. Il fenomeno italiano segue il trend europeo ed è assai ridotto rispetto a quello statunitense. Una delle classificazioni più diffuse è quella proposta dalla Federal Bureau of Investigation che suddivide gli omicidi seriali in tre categorie. Il mass murder o omicida di massa... Lo spree murder o assassino compulsivo... Il serial murder o serial killer...

 

Roberto Conti
# I giudici e il biodiritto. Un esame concreto dei casi difficili e del ruolo del giudice di merito, della Cassazione e delle Corti europee
Quaderni di Biodiritto, 2015

Riflettere sulla funzione giudiziaria in territori in cui sono in gioco la vita e i valori che riguardano la centralità della persona e la dimensione della dignità umana (il suo carattere indefettibile, indissolubile, incomprimibile e inderogabile) è argomento da far tremare i polsi, come ammette lo stesso Autore della monografia che presentiamo, tale è la vastità delle implicazioni di ordine filosofico, sociale e giuridico che esso intercetta. Il diritto è oggi chiamato a confrontarsi, secondo prospettive assolutamente inedite, con i suoi “oggetti” principali: la vita, la salute, l’autodeterminazione dei soggetti, la stessa individualità biologica, e i dubbi investono persino i termini, iniziale e finale, della vita umana (Giorgio Santacroce)

 

Diego Fernandez-Duque1, Jessica Evans1, Colton Christian2, and Sara D. Hodges2
# Superfluous Neuroscience Information Makes Explanations of Psychological Phenomena More Appealing
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 27:5, pp. 926–944, 2015
Finally and most intriguingly, superfluous neuroscience information might increase the perceived scientific quality of explanations if people’s lay theories of the mind embrace the idea that the brain is the best explanans of mental phenomena (i.e., a brain-as-engine-of-mind hypothesis). If so, superfluous explanations should fool participants into seeing the explanations as informative, but giving the superfluous information a “neuro” flavor would be essential; this hypothesis predicts that other jargon or scientific cues would not work as effectively...

 

John Pyun
# When Neurogenetics Hurts: Examining the Use of Neuroscience and Genetic Evidence in Sentencing Decisions Through Implicit Bias
California Law Review, vol. 103, 2015
Courts increasingly use neuroscience and genetic evidence (“neurogenetic evidence”) to shed light on various aspects of a defendant’s mental state and behavior. The evidence is particularly prevalent in cases involving defendants with mental illnesses and is used to determine issues of mental capacity, personal responsibility, and treatability. However, using neurogenetic evidence risks framing mental illness through a narrow explanatory model—one relying solely on biological causes. Such evidence elicits both stigmareducing and stigma-enhancing implicit biases against mental illness, which can manifest themselves in beliefs that a person with mental illness is less blameworthy for his condition, but also more dangerous and less receptive to treatment. 

 

C.H. de Kogel, E.J.M.C. Westgeest
# Neuroscientific and behavioral genetic information in criminal cases in the Netherlands
Journal of Law and the Bioscience, 2015
Neuroscientific information and techniques have found their way into the courts of the Netherlands. Furthermore, following an Italian case in which a mentally ill offender received a penalty reduction in part because of a ‘genetic vulnerability for impulsive aggression’, the expectation was expressed that such ‘genetic defenses’ would appear in the Netherlands too. To assess how neuroscientific and behavioral genetic information are used in criminal justice practice in the Netherlands, we systematically collect Dutch criminal cases in which neuroscientific or behavioral genetic information is introduced...

 

Jean Decety, Jason M. Cowell
# Empathy, justice, and moral behavior
AJOB Neurosci. 2015 ; 6(3): 3–14
The purpose of this article is to examine the intersection of neuroscience and psychology on the study of empathy and moral decision-making. Substantial progress has been made in recent years towards a comprehensive understanding of the evolutionary processes that have favored the development of complex social behaviors in humans, along with the brain architecture that supports them. In particular, research in social neuroscience, relying on multi-level integrative analysis studies (from genes to social interactions) provides a mechanistic comprehension of empathy and caring for others...

 

Peter H. Venables, Adrian Raine
# The stability of schizotypy across time and instruments
Psychiatry Research 228 (2015) 585–590

Overall, findings on the multifactorial assessment of schizotypy provide a basis upon which further etiological and clinical work on schizotypy may build. The future clinical challenge lies in understanding what social and biological processes lead some individuals to remain stably schizotypal over time, while others change.

 

Thomas Insel
# Something Interesting is Happening
www.nimh.nih.gov/ June 5, 2015
Although the Precision Medicine Initiative at NIH is still under development, one consistent message has been that we will be creating not only a new cohort but a new culture for biomedical research. Research driven by patients, or maybe I should say “volunteers,” could create a research platform that might not look like academic research or private sector research. As people share their experiences with treatments that work or don’t work, they may see patterns that were never evident in randomized clinical trials. I don’t know where this will lead. But isn’t that exactly the potential of a new kind of clinical research – built by and for the people who have the most at stake? 

 

Robert B. McCaleb
# Rejustifying Retributive Punishment on Utilitarian Grounds in Light of Neuroscientific Discoveries more than Philosophical Calisthenics!
Cleveland State Law Review, 2015
Recent discoveries in neuroscience show that ancient and widely-held popular beliefs about free will, decision making, and voluntary action are deeply flawed, and that these concepts are potentially reducible to discrete, observable chemical events in the brain. The classical criminal law, however, presupposes the existence of practically unrestrained free will, and demands that it be exercised within certain boundaries and in (or not in) certain ways. Accordingly, viewed broadly, classical criminal law and materialist neuroscience rely on philosophically irreconcilable explanations of the sources and causes of volitional behavior...

 

Itiel E. Dror
# Cognitive neuroscience in forensic science: understanding and utilizing the human element
Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 2015
A new view of a cognitively informed forensic science suggests a proactive approach. Rather than being reactive once crimes are committed, being proactive would take forensic steps before a crime is ever committed. A proactive forensic science goal is to ‘try to foresee trends in future crime and develop preventative measures ahead of time. In other words, they are trying to be one step ahead of the criminals, so that when the trend changes they will be ready’ .

 

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
# GRAY MATTERS. Topics at the Intersection of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society
www.bioethics.gov/ March 2015
Enhancing justice by using neuroscience evidence is especially important because of the potentially severe and far-reaching consequences of legal and policy decisions. In the criminal context, punishment can involve deprivation of liberty by imprisonment or the death penalty in some jurisdictions. Such severe consequences warrant particular attention to improving the accuracy of conviction and sentencing.

 

Deborah W. Denno
# The Myth of the Double-Edged Sword: An Empirical Study of Neuroscience Evidence
http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/ Criminal Cases, 56 B.C.L. Rev. 493 (2015)
This Article presents the results of my unique study of 800 criminal cases addressing neuroscience evidence over the past two decades (1992– 2012). Many legal scholars have theorized about the impact of neuroscience evidence on the criminal law, but this is the first empirical study of its kind to systematically investigate how courts assess the mitigating and aggravating strength of such evidence.

 

Brady Somers
# Neuroimaging Evidence: A Solution to the Problem of Proving Pain and Suffering?
Seattle University Law Review, Vol. 39:1391, 2015
In order to understand why neuroimages should not be admitted as evidence to prove pain and suffering at this stage, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of the technology itself. This Part first provides background information on structural and functional neuroimaging techniques. It then discusses the structural regions of the brain believed to be implicated in pain perception and explains how the current technology may be used to prove pain and suffering...

 

Thomas Levy
# Altering brain chemistry makes us more sensitive to inequality
http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/ March 19, 2015

 

Nancy Gertner
# Law and Neuroscience (By Owen D. Jones, Jeffrey D. Schall, Francis X. Shen | Book Review)
Journal of Law and the Biosciences, 1–4, 2015
Law and Neuroscience raises the fascinating question—among many, many others: What if neuroscientists purported to be able to ‘read another person’s mind’ to some degree, or at the very least, to offer more direct data on a person’s mental state then jurors and judges have been able to  consider before?

 

Andrew S Kayser, Jennifer M Mitchell, Dawn Weinstein, Michael J Frank
# Dopamine, Locus of Control, and the Exploration-Exploitation Tradeoff
Neuropsychopharmacology (2015) 40, 454–462

...our findings suggest that tolcapone may modulate cognitive processes associated with the exploration- xploitation tradeoff in patients with suspected dopamine-related dysregulation, including patients with schizophrenia and substance-use disorders; and future work might therefore investigate whether this modulation has beneficial effects in selected patient groups.

 

Richard C. Wolf, Michael Koenigs
# Brain Imaging Research on Violence and Aggression: Pitfalls and Possibilities for Criminal Justice
http://koenigslab.psychiatry.wisc.edu/ 2015
We have provided here a brief primer on brain imaging research on violence, aggression, and psychopathy as it relates to criminal justice. At present, there are a number of features of MRI research that appear to limit the applicability of this method in the courtroom; these limitations include a need for greater replication of results, unacceptably high measurement and statistical error rates, and the lack of causal inference.

 

Francis Shen, Dena Gromet
# Neuroscience is coming to the law. Can we keep politics out of it?
www.washingtonpost.com/ February 25, 2015

 

Alessandra Griffa, Philipp Sebastian Baumann, Carina Ferrari, Kim Quang Do, Philippe Conus, Jean-Philippe Thiran, Patric Hagmann
# Characterizing the Connectome in Schizophrenia With Diffusion Spectrum Imaging
Human Brain Mapping 36:354–366 (2015)
Schizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder characterized by disabling symptoms and cognitive deficit. Recent neuroimaging findings suggest that large parts of the brain are affected by the disease, and that the capacity of functional integration between brain areas is decreased...

 

Jesse Meijers, Joke M. Harte, Frank A. Jonker, Gerben Meynen
# Prison brain? Executive dysfunction in prisoners
Frontiers in Psychology, 30 january 2015
The reviewed studies suggest various executive dysfunctions in regular prisoners. This may be due to the higher chance of impairment in antisocial individuals, deterioration of executive functions caused by the prison environment, or a combination of both. Either way, we hypothesize that the impoverished prison environment, depriving its population of many normal stimuli, may lead to (further) deterioration of executive functions.

 

Mohita Shrivastava, Madhuri Behari
# Neuroethics: A Moral Approach Towards Neuroscience Research
Archives of Neuroscience. 2015 January
Neuroethics takes into account ethico-legal and socio-moral norms when performing basic science and clinical research in the field of neuroscience  Recent developments in modern neuro-imaging techniques such as Computerized Tomography scans (CT), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) allow us to examine the structure and function of brain (11, 12). The introduction of powerful neuro-imaging tools and techniques has redefined the diagnosis, definition and understanding of various disorders of consciousness such as the vegetative and minimally conscious states

 

Nina Koivula, Nina Ferreira, Petar Lozev, Franziska Böhlke, Birgit Thun, Janika Bockmeyer, Jan Smits
# Neurolaw
Maastricht University, 2014
Although neuroscientific methods seem to be promising for the rehabilitation of sexual offenders, one has to keep in mind that there are significant limitations to their application. Firstly, it has to be pointed out that early attempts to alter sexual interests have not been effective. Moreover, there is an overall lack of knowledge of how the brain works and how to use neuroscience accordingly. Hence it seems that neuroscience has still a long way to go before being able to reveal much more information on the brain.

 

Giovanni Maria Flick
# Neuroscienze (Diritto penale)
AIC Associazione Italiana dei Costituzionalisti, n. 4, 19 dicembre 2014
1. L’impatto del diritto penale con le neuroscienze: gli opposti estremismi. – 2. Cogito ergo sum o sum ergo cogito? – 3. Neuroscienze e libero arbitrio. – 4. Il contributo delle neuroscienze nell’accertamento della responsabilità e dell’imputabilità; – 5. (segue) …in quello della memoria e del fatto; – 6. (segue) …nel giudizio. – 7. Personalismo e pluralismo: le neuroscienze nel percorso dalla diversità all’eguaglianza attraverso la solidarietà.

 

Carlo Umiltà
# Che cosa possono dirci le neuroimmagini sulla mente?
Workshop Mente e cervello: la neuropsicologia tra neuromania e neurofobia, Un. Cattolica, Milano, 7 novembre 2014

 

Owen D. Jones, Joshua W. Buckholtz, Jeffrey D. Schall, Rene Marois
# Brain Imaging for Judges: An Introduction to Law and Neuroscience
American Judges Association - Court Review 50, 2014
It has become increasingly common for brain images to be proffered as evidence in civil and criminal litigation. This article offers some general guidelines to judges about how to understand brain-imaging studies--or at least avoid misunderstanding them.

 

Sarah Knapton
# Violence genes may be responsible for one in 10 serious crimes
www.telegraph.co.uk/ 28 Oct 2014
The majority of violent crime is committed by a small group of antisocial, repeat offenders, who seem incapable of rehabilitation. Now scientists believe they have found which genes are responsible for high levels of rage and violence. They believe that they could be responsible for up to 10 per cent of serious crime in Finland. The criminals who had committed the most serious crimes, such as murder, were found to have variants of two genes; monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and cadherin 13 (CDH13)

 

Alessandro Corda
# Neuroscienze forensi e giustizia penale tra diritto e prova (Disorientamenti giurisprudenziali e questioni aperte)
ArchivioPenale, n. 3, 2014
1. Introduzione. – 2. Scienza, neuroscienza e giustizia penale. – 3. Sapere neuroscientifico e neuroscienze forensi. – 4. Novel science  e prova penale. L’emblematico caso dell’irrompere delle neuroscienze nel dibattito sulla capacità di intendere e volere. – 5. La “rivoluzione promessa” dalle neuroscienze rispetto al diritto penale. – 6. La casistica giurisprudenziale. – 7. Prova scientifica “nuova” e ragionevole dubbio nella prospettiva dell’accusa e della difesa. – 8. Metodo scientifico tra ammissione e valutazione della prova. – 9. Cattiva scienza versus cattivo utilizzo processuale del sapere scientifico. – 10. L’esame del ricordo autobiografico e i limiti normativi espressi. – 11. Il (potenziale) conflitto di interessi tra produttori e portatori del sapere neuroscientifico all’interno del processo penale. – 12. Riflessioni conclusive.

 

Armando Freitas da Rocha, Eduardo Massad, Fabio Theoto Rocha, Marcelo Nascimento Burattini
# Brain and Law: An EEG Study of How We Decide or Not to Implement a Law
Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 4, 2014
A total of 1136 people living in the Great São Paulo area were asked whether media propaganda would influence or not their vote decision in the Brazilian Firearm Commerce Referendum. In conclusion, it may be said that our results show that different neural circuits support YA and NA  analyses because these analyses enrolled neurons located at different cortical areas. YA analysis was associated with activation of cortical areas known to be involved in retrospective and episodic memory as well as with areas known to be involved in evaluating others’ intention. In contrast, NA analysis was associated with cortical areas that are proposed to be involved with self-interest evaluation. oreover, information about neural mechanism involved in voting decision-making obtained in this work helped to differentiate distinct ontological origins of YA and NA.

 

Gerardo Salvato, Roy Dings, Lucia Reuter
# Culture, neuroscience, and law
Front. Psychol., 22 October 2014
The cognitive diversity found across populations should be handled with some care as it might not be relevant to other fields of law (e.g., law enforcement official practice). Instead, when legal trials involve cultural diversity, a comprehensive neuroscientific procedure may contribute to more objective legal outcomes. In this case, neuroscience could assist law in decoding the significance of a range of culturally modulated social behaviors, which might have a strong impact on evidence examined in court.

 

Stefano Fuselli
# Ripensare l’uomo: ripensare il diritto?Sui supposti fondamenti neurobiologici del diritto

Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XVI, 2014, 2, pp. 101-129

La comparsa e la rapida moltiplicazione di neologismi come ‘neuroetica’, ‘neuroestetica’, ‘neuroteologia’, ‘neurodiritto’, hanno portato –giustamente –a parlare di una vera e propria neuromania1. Nonostante le buone ragioni per la sua censurabilità, questo fenomeno attesta, però, che l’impresa neuroscientifica ha un’enorme capacità di penetrazione, anche in discipline fra loro molto diverse...

 

Francis X. Shen
# Sentencing Enhancement and the Crime Victim’s Brain
Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, vol. 46, 2014
The Article argues that classification of “mental” harms as wholly distinct from “physical” harms is problematic in light of modern neuroscientific understanding of the relationship between mind and brain. There is no successful justification for treating mental injuries as categorically distinct from other physical injuries. To do so would be to perpetuate an archaic dualist view of the mind that few, if any, studying the brain would endorse...

 

Bruce N. Cuthbert
# The RDoC framework: facilitating transition from ICD/DSM to dimensional approaches that integrate neuroscience and psychopathology
World Psychiatry, 13, 2014
RDoC is intended to support research toward a new classification  system, but does not claim to be a completed system at the current time. To the contrary, RDoC represents a framework for conducting research on psychopathology in ways that diverge markedly from current standards. The ultimate goal is to build a research literature that reflects advances in genetics, other areas of neuroscience, and behavioral science to provide a foundation for precision diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.

 

Emanuele Daddi
Neuroscienze e categorie penalistiche:tra teoria e prassi
Università di Pisa, 2014

 

So Yeon Choe
# Misdiagnosing the Impact of Neuroimages in the Courtroom
UCLA L. Rev. 1502 (2014)
A number of criminal defendants have sought to introduce neuroscience evidence to support not only insanity defenses, but also claims of incompetency to stand trial and of mitigation during the sentencing phase.These defendants sought to introduce neuroscience evidence in one of two forms: general neuroscience evidence (which will refer to neuroscience evidence that draws its inferences and conclusions from the neuroimage, but does not use the actual neuroimage itself), or neuroimaging evidence (which will refer to neuroscience evidence with neuroimages).

 

Azim F. Shariff, Joshua D. Greene, Johan C. Karremans, Jamie B. Luguri, Cory J. Clark, Jonathan W. Schooler, Roy F. Baumeister, Kathleen D. Vohs
# Free Will and Punishment: A Mechanistic View of Human Nature Reduces Retribution
Psychological Science 1 –8 (2014)
If free-will beliefs support attributions of moral responsibility, then reducing these beliefs should make people less retributive in their attitudes about punishment. Four studies tested this prediction using both measured and manipulated free-will beliefs.

 

Nikolas Rose, Joelle Abi-Rached
# Governing through the Brain. Neuropolitics, Neuroscience and Subjectivity
Cambridge Anthropology 32(1), Spring 2014: 3–23
Are we driven by instincts and passions that must be trained and civilized by discipline and habits? Are we psychological persons, inhabited by a deep, interior psyche that is moulded by experience, symbols and signs, meaning and culture? Or is our nature as human beings shaped by the structure and unctions o our brains? Is it our brains that make us humans human?

 

Ceren Akdeniz, Heike Tost, Fabian Streit, Leila Haddad, Stefan Wüst, Axel Schäfer, Michael Schneider, Marcella Rietschel, Peter Kirsch, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg
# Neuroimaging Evidence for a Role of Neural Social Stress Processing in Ethnic Minority–Associated Environmental Risk
JAMA Psychiatry, April 2014
Epidemiologists proposed a causal role of social-evaluative stress, but the neural processes that could mediate this susceptibility effect were unknown. Our data demonstrate the potential of investigating associations from epidemiology with neuroimaging, suggest brain effects of social marginalization, and highlight a neural system in which environmental and genetic risk factors for mental illness may converge.

 

Thomas Douglas
# Criminal Rehabilitation Through Medical Intervention: Moral Liability and the Right to Bodily Integrity
J Ethics. 2014 June 1
Criminal offenders are sometimes required, by the institutions of criminal justice, to undergo medical interventions intended to promote rehabilitation. Ethical debate regarding this practice has largely proceeded on the assumption that medical interventions may only permissibly be administered to criminal offenders with their consent. In this article I challenge this assumption by suggesting that committing a crime might render one morally liable to certain forms of medical intervention. I then consider whether it is possible to respond persuasively to this challenge by invoking the right to bodily integrity. I argue that it is not.

 

Hannah Maslen, Nadira Faulmüller,Julian Savulescu4
# Pharmacological cognitive enhancement—how neuroscientific research could advance ethical debate
Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, June 2014 | Volume 8 | Article 107
This paper presents the six principal ethical issues raised in relation to pharmacological cognitive enhancers (PCEs)— ssues such as whether: (1) the medical safety-profile of PCEs justifies restricting or permitting their elective or required   use; (2) the enhanced mind can be an “authentic” mind; (3) individuals might be coerced into using PCEs; (4), there is a meaningful distinction to be made between the treatment vs. enhancement effect of the same PCE; (5) unequal access to PCEs would have implications for distributive justice; and (6) PCE use constitutes cheating in competitive contexts.

 

Rebecca Roache
# Can Brain Scans Prove Criminals Unaccountable?
AJOB Neuroscience, 5(2), 2014
Leonard Berlin (2014) reports that neuroscientific data have been presented in court by lawyers wishing to argue that their clients have reduced or absent moral responsibility for their behaviour because their brain function is impaired. Berlin cites evidence showing that such neuroscientific data can influence judges to pass more lenient sentences, and he anticipates that advances in “the neurology of criminal behavior”may lead courts to view certain criminals as having reduced accountability for their actions...

 

Vincent D. Costa, Valery L. Tran, Janita Turchi, Bruno B. Averbeck
# Behavioral Neuroscience. Dopamine Modulates Novelty Seeking Behavior During Decision Making
Behavioral Neuroscience , June 9, 2014.
These findings demonstrate that increases in extracellular dopamine levels underlie the positive valuation of novel stimuli to promote exploratory behavior. They also suggest that alterations in dopamine reuptake may contribute to excessive novelty seeking and impulsivity

 

G.A. Capra, B. Forresi, E. Caffo
# Current scientific research on paedophilia: a review
Journal of Psychopathology 2014;20:17-26
Current neuroimaging research, for example, suggests that structural and functional changes in paedophilia appear for the most part in brain regions involved in sexual functions. A few studies, usually referring single cases of patients with paedophilia, reported the activation in the left calcarine fissure, left insula, anterior cingulated cortex and left cerebellar vermis or in the right amygdala and the adjacent parahippocampal gyrus in response to erotic pictures of children...

 

Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
# Gray Matters. Integrative Approaches for Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society - Vol. 1
www.bioethics.gov/ Washington, D.C. May 2014
This report provides practical, conceptual, and methodological tools that can be applied directly in neuroscience research by funders, scientists, and other stakeholders. It calls for adequate resources to be allotted for successful integration of science and ethics. It also provides analysis and recommendations to guide institutions in developing necessary infrastructure for early integration of ethics into neuroscience research.

 

Ekaterina Pivovarova, Judith G. Edersheim, Justin Baker, Bruce H. Price
# A Polygraph Primer: What Litigators Need to Know
www.thejuryexpert.com/ V. 26, May 2014

... The search for a perfect lie detector continues. Although our technological advances have been unprecedented in the last century, the legal perspective on allowing experts and machines to decipher lying from truth telling has remained unchanged...

 

Kimberly R. Urban, Wen-Jun Gao
# Performance enhancement at the cost of potential brain plasticity: neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ frontiers in systems neurosciences, 13 may 2014
Cognitive enhancement, and the ethical considerations that go along with it, is one of the hottest current topics in the neuroscience community. There are many comprehensive reviews and articles published on the ethical concerns of cognitive enhancement; however, literature on the safety of consuming these drugs in youth is starkly lacking despite the significant increase in teen misuse and abuse of stimulants reported in a recent national study

 

David Wasserman, Josephine Johnston
# Seeing Responsibility: Can Neuroimaging Teach Us Anything about Moral and Legal Responsibility?
Hastings Center Report, March-April 2014
Reorienting our ideas about moral and legal responsibility to focus more on changing behavior to prevent future harm and less on exacting retribution could help reduce incarceration rates and improve mental health and well-being. If neuroimaging can help make that goal vivid, so much the better.

 

Owen D. Jones, Richard J. Bonnie, B. J. Casey, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris Hoffman, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer A. Richeson, Elizabeth Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor- Thompson, Anthony Wagner, Gideon Yaffe
# Law and neuroscience: recommendations submitted to the President’s Bioethics Commission
Journal of Law and the Biosciences, March 2014
C
omments of The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience to The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues of the Department of Health and Human Services Comments on the Ethical Considerations of Neuroscience Research and the Application of Neuroscience Research Findings March 31, 2014

 

Amanda C. Pustilnik
# Painful Disparities, Painful Realities
U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-18 | March 10, 2014
Legal doctrines and decisional norms treat chronic claims pain differently than other kinds of disability or damages claims because of bias and confusion about whether chronic pain is real. This is law’s painful disparity. Now, breakthrough neuroimaging can make pain visible, shedding light on these mysterious ills. Neuroimaging shows these conditions are, as sufferers have known all along, painfully real. This Article is about where law ought to change because of innovations in structural and functional imaging of the brain in pain. It describes cutting-edge scientific developments and the impact they should make on evidence law and disability law, and, eventually the law’s norms about pain. It suggests that pain neuroimaging will solve current legal problems and also open the door to reconsiderations of law’s treatment of other subjective phenomena like mental states and emotions, going to the theoretical heart of legal doctrines about body and mind.

 

Nina Koivula, Nina Ferreira, Petar Lozev, Franziska Böhlke, Birgit Thun, Janika Bockmeyer, Jan Smits
# Neurolaw
Maastricht Research Based Learning Project (MaRBLe) - Maastricht University, 2014

Rehabilitation of sexual offenders: clearing the stage forneuroscience? | In how far are neurological rehabilitation methods for criminal offenders compatible with the concept of human dignity? | Probation and effective rehabilitation – an alternative to incarceration? Using neuroscience to facilitate rehabilitation methods |  A neuroscientific perspective on cognitive and volitional impairment in criminal irresponsibility assessments: a case for a capacity-based approach |  To what extent is the taking and use of neuroscientific evidence compatible with the rights enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights? | Violation of Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: An analysis from a neurobiological point of view with regard to criminal behaviour

 

Sara Reardon
# NIH rethinks psychiatry trials. Mental-health division will no longer fund research aiming to relieve symptoms without probing underlying causes
Nature, 20 March 2014
The NIMH, based in Bethesda, Maryland, has decided to stop funding clinical trials that aim merely to ease patients’ symptoms. “Future trials will follow an experimental medicine approach in which interventions serve not only as potential treatments, but as probes to generate information about the mechanisms underlying a disorder”...

 

Adam B. Shniderman
# No Such Thing As A Sure Thing: Neuroscience, The Insanity Defense, and Sentencing Mitigation
thejuryexpert.com, February 2014 - Volume 26, Issue 1
Much has been made of recent neuroscientific discoveries and their relevance for the criminal justice system. Some have touted neuroscience as the system’s savior – a means for finally handling criminals effectively and appropriately. Neuroscientific expert evidence may provide a more effective means of representing clients by framing mental illness in terms of organic illness and providing jurors with objective indicia of a defendant’s claims.

 

Lora M.Cope, Gina M.Vincent, Justin L.Jobelius, Prashanth K.Nyalakanti, Vince D.Calhoun, Kent A.Kiehl
# Psychopathic traits modulate brain responses to drug cues in incarcerated offenders
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, February 2014
Recent neuroscientific evidence indicates that psychopathy is associated with abnormal function and structure in limbic and paralimbic areas. Psychopathy and substance use disorders are highly comorbid, but clinicale xperience suggests that psychopaths abuse drugs for different reasons than non-psychopaths, and that psychopaths do not typically experience with drawal and craving upon becoming incarcerated.

 

Ashley Bridwell, MacDonald Ross
# Trauma Brain Injury in the Criminal Justice Population
Council of State Governments Justice Center, New York, NY, February 11, 2014

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury, Among male prisoners, history of TBI is strongly associated with perpetration of violence and other kinds of violence. Women inmates who are convicted of a violent crime are more likely to have sustained a pre crime TBI and/or some other form of physical abuse.

 

Femke T.A. Buisman-Pijlman, Nicole M. Sumracki, Jake J. Gordon, Philip R. Hull, C. Sue Carter, Mattie Tops
# Individual differences underlying susceptibility to addiction: Role for the endogenous oxytocin system
Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior 119 (2014)
Existing research has mainly focussed on the role of neurotransmitter systems in drug effects and the development of addiction. Different drugs acton different neurotransmitter systems, but nearly all drugs of abuse eventually result in an increase in dopamine in the mesolimbic dopamine system reward pathway. Neurotransmitter systems that are key to drug effects are the dopamine system (for example, stimulants and MDMA), opioid system (heroin, codeine and alcohol), serotonin (for example,MDMAand hallucinogens), GABA and glutamate (for example, alcohol and benzodiazepines), and the cannabinoid system (cannabis). Beyond their role in direct drug effects, many of these systems seem to be involved in susceptibility to the development of addictions.

 

Benedict Carey
# Blazing Trails in Brain Science
www.nytimes.com/ Feb. 3, 2014
“My philosophy is really based on humility,” he said. “I don’t think we know enough to fix either diagnostics or therapeutics. The future of psychiatry is clinical neuroscience, based on a much deeper understanding of the brain.”

 

Nicole A Vincent
# Neurolaw and Direct Brain Interventions
Crim Law and Philos (2014) 8:43–50
This issue of Criminal Law and Philosophy contains three papers on a topic of increasing importance within the field of ‘‘neurolaw’’—namely, the implications for criminal law of direct brain intervention based mind altering techniques (DBI’s). To locate these papers’ topic within a broader context, I begin with an overview of some prominent topics in the field of neurolaw, where possible providing some references to relevant literature. The specific questions asked by the three authors, as well as their answers and central claims, are then sketched out, and I end with a brief comment to explain why this particular topic can be expected to gain more prominence in coming years.

 

Nicole A Vincent
# Restoring Responsibility: Promoting Justice, Therapy and Reform Through Direct Brain Interventions
Crim Law and Philos (2014) 8:21–42
Direct brain intervention based mental capacity restoration techniques—for instance, psycho-active drugs—are sometimes used in criminal cases to promote the aims of justice. For instance, they might be used to restore a person’s competence to stand trial in order to assess the degree of their responsibility for what they did, or to restore their competence for punishment so that we can hold them responsible for it. Some also suggest that such interventions might be used for therapy or reform in criminal legal contexts—i.e. to make non-responsible and irresponsible people more responsible.

 

M. Casellato, D. La Muscatella, S. Lionetti
# Tra prassi e teoria. La responsabilità colpevole tra libero arbitrio e neodeterminismo biologico. Profili psicologici e forensi dei nuovi strumenti delle neuroscienze
Il vaso di Pandora. Dialoghi in psichiatria e scienze umane - Vol. XXII, N. 1, 2014
Lo psicologo, psichiatra o neuroscienziato che afferma di lavorare sulla  “mente”, è a tutti gli effetti figlio di una tradizione cartesiana che sottintende una differenziazione fra la res cogitans e la res extensa (fra la mente e il corpo, appunto). Il costo dell’eredità cartesiana, dell’impostazione filosofica basata sul dualismo mente/corpo, è  evidente tutt’oggi nell’attività clinica e forense, dove è di prassi diagnosticare problemi di carattere organico distinguendoli da quelli psicologici.

 

David W. Opderbeck
# The Problem with Neurolaw
Saint Louis University Law Journal, vol 58, 2014
This Article describes and critiques the increasingly popular program of reductive neuroLaw. Law has irrevocably entered the age of neuroscience. Various institutes and conferences are devoted to questions about the relation between neuroscience and legal procedures and doctrines. Most of the new “neuroLaw” scholarship focuses on evidentiary and related issues, and is important and beneficial. But some versions of reductive neuroLaw are frightening. Although they claim to liberate us from false conceptions of ourselves and to open new spaces for more scientific applications of the law, they end up stripping away all notions of “selves” and of “law.” This Article argues that a revitalized sense of transcendence is required to avoid the violent metaphysics of reductive neuroLaw and to maintain the integrity of both “law” and “science.”

 

Paul S. Appelbaum, Nicholas Scurich
# Impact of Behavioral Genetic Evidence on the Adjudication of Criminal Behavior
J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 42:91–100, 2014
Recent advances in behavioral genetics suggest a modest relationship among certain gene variants, early childhood experiences, and criminal behavior. Although scientific research examining this link is still at an early stage, genetic data are already being introduced in criminal trials. However, the extent to which such evidence is likely to affect jurors’ decisions has not been explored.

 

Alessia Farano
# Ripensare la responsabilità. La ricerca del giurista tra questioni filosofiche e sfide della tecnoscienza
Università degli Studi di Napoli "Federico II", 2014

Le neuroscienze per la responsabilità cambiano tutto o niente? La categoria dell’imputabilità, unitamente alla responsabilità, verrà dunque ad essere investita del ruolo di testimone di un cambiamento, da alcuni annunciato nella sua perentorietà, da altri negato, che le neuroscienze avrebbero innescato nell’incontro col fenomeno giuridico... Neuroscience, for the Law, changes nothing and everything affermavano nel 2004 Greene e  Cohen, sostenendo la irrilevanza nel breve termine delle neuroscienze per il diritto e tuttavia presagendo una significativa modificazione delle intuizioni morali (rectius di psicologia ingenua) poste a fondamento degli istituti giuridici in futuro da riformare.

 

Jason Michael Chin
# Psychological Science's Replicability Crisis and What It Means for Science in the Courtroom
Journal of Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Forthcoming, March 22, 2014
Lessons learned from the replicability crisis suggest that the Daubert standard is better equipped than Frye to ensure that good science reaches decision makers. As mentioned, the replicability crisis was made possible by deeply entrenched generally accepted practices that did not track with best practices. Frye, in probing general acceptance, does not easily get at best practices when such divergences exist.

 

Andrea L. Glenn, Adrian Raine
# Neurocriminology: implications for the punishment, prediction and prevention of criminal behaviour
www.nature.com/ Nature Reviews Neuroscience 15, 54–63 (2014)
Criminal behaviour and violence are increasingly viewed as worldwide public health problems. A growing body of knowledge shows that criminal behaviour has a neurobiological basis, and this has intensified judicial interest in the potential application of neuroscience to criminal law. It also gives rise to important questions. What are the implications of such application for predicting future criminal behaviour and protecting society? Can it be used to prevent violence? And what are the implications for the way offenders are punished?

 

Claudio Sarra
# Questioni pregiudiziali: una prospettiva epistemologica sui rapporti tra neuroscienze e diritto
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XVI, 2014, 2, pp. 64-100

Di tutte le possibili intersezioni tra neuroscienze e diritto, ve n’è una ritenuta epocale data dalla finalmente dischiusa possibilità di consentire l’accesso dell’osservazione scientifica a tutte le funzionalità del cervello, vera “stanza dei bottoni” di ogni funzione umana. In effetti, la possibilità di “tracciare” ed osservare in azione le dinamiche neuronali di un soggetto agente, alza notevolmente il grado empirico delle conoscenze sui meccanismi del comportamento umano, prima solo indirettamente e più incertamente inferibili.

 

Alberto Gaiani
# Riduzionismo e neuroscienze: il dibattito filosofico recente
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XVI, 2014, 2, pp. 47-63
... Si tratta di mettere alla prova temi che storicamente sono stati appannaggio della riflessione filosofica: coscienza, decisione, libertà, percezione, arte, responsabilità, educazione, empatia, credenza, immaginazione, emozione,  volontà, intenzionalità, autocoscienza... Alla luce dei risultati ottenuti attraverso le tecniche di neuroimaging le concezioni che storicamente sono state proposte vengono interrogate, messe in questione, sollecitate. E qui non si tratta semplicemente di sostituire idee confuse con visioni perspicue, fondate su dati osservazionali inattaccabili. Non è in questione un passaggio di scettro, la sostituzione di un sovrano con un altro...

 

McLellan AT, Starrels JL, Tai B, Gordon AJ, Brown R, Ghitza U, Gourevitch M, Stein J, Oros M, Horton T, Lindblad R, Jennifer McNeely J.
# Can substance use disorders be managed using the chronic care model? Review and recommendations from a NIDA consensus group.
Public Health Reviews, January 2014
The chronic illness management approach is still new in the field of addiction and research is limited. However comparative findings suggest that most proactive, team treatment-oriented clinical management practices now used in diabetes management are applicable to the substance use disorders; capable of being implemented by primary care teams; and should offer comparable potential benefits in the treatment of substance use disorders. Such care should also improve the quality of care for many illnesses now negatively affected by unaddressed substance abuse.

 

James Gorman
# The Brain, in Exquisite Detail
www.nytimes.com/ Jan. 6, 2014
Everyone knows the object of study is the brain. The difficulty of comprehending the brain may be more aptly compared to a poem by Wallace Stevens, “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” Each way of looking, not looking, or just being in the presence of the blackbird reveals something about it, but only something. Each way of looking at the brain reveals ever more astonishing secrets, but the full and complete picture of the human brain is still out of reach. 

 

John Rumbold
# Neurolaw and the Future
Kaleidoscope. The interdisciplinary postgraduate journal of the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, November 2013
The difficulties with neurolaw illustrate two main points: the benefits of genuine interdisciplinary research, and the pitfalls of simply applying research from one discipline to another. Simply discovering and describing the activity of the brain does not and probably will never provide a definitive answer to whether or not someone should be held criminally responsible. For this reason alone, neuroscience must be used with caution in the courts.

 

Stefano Fuselli
# Oltre i dualismi: un itinerario tra diritto, neuroscienze e filosofia
D&Q, n. 13/2013

1. Una base di partenza: descrivere e valutare nella prospettiva di Vittorio Villa – 1.1. Interpretazione giuridica e giudizi di valore – 1.2. L’approccio costruttivista – 1.3. I vincoli della schematizzazione – 2. Questioni di confine – 2.1. Trascendere gli schemi – 2.2. Una connes-sione necessaria – 2.3. Dai vincoli pragmatici ai vincoli biologici – 3. Oltre i dualismi: uno sguardo alle neuroscienze –3.1. La visione pragmatista della mente – 3.2. Le dinamiche dell’intenzionalità secondo Freeman – 3.2.1. La preafferenza – 3.2.2. Le popolazioni neurali – 3.2.3. Caos e percezione – 4. Un diverso ordine di questioni– 4.1. Una ritrovata unitarietà – 4.2. Intenzionalità e solipsismo epistemologico – 4.3. L’ombra di Cartesio – 4.4. Il ruolo delle emozioni – 5. Cercando una alternativa: l’intenzionalità nella prospettiva di Searle – 5.1. Realismo ingenuo e solipsismo – 5.2. Solipsismo e intenzionalità collettiva – 5.3. Dietro allo Sfondo – 6. Oltre i dualismi: la struttura dell’intenzionalità in Heidegger – 6.1. Ripensare l’intenzionalità – 6.2. Dall’intenzionalità all’emotività – 6.3. Emotività, totalità e metafisica – 6.4. Valutare senza giudicare – 7. Dal bilancio alla prospettiva.

 

Owen D. Jones, Rene´ Marois, Martha J. Farah, Henry T. Greely
# Law and Neuroscience
The Journal of Neuroscience, November 6, 2013•33(45)
Most of the scholarly discussion about law and neuroscience has revolved around questions of responsibility. If neuroscience can help us connect physical states of the brain with subjective mental states, that should indeed prove useful. However, neuroscience seems poised to offer law much more. For example, neuroscience should improve our predictions of future mental states and consequent behavior...

 

Lorenzo Simonetti, Marco Mendola, Francesco Salamone
Prova scientifica, vulnerabilità genetica e processo penale. La prospettiva offerta dalle Neuroscienze forensi
Psicologia e Giustizia, Anno 14, numero 2, Luglio-Dicembre 2013

Tramite l’espressione “prova scientifica”, tradizionalmente, si fa riferimento o alla cd. “prova esperta” (su tutte, la perizia) ovvero al cd. “metodo scientifico”, inteso quest’ultimo come un modus procedendi sulla cui base è possibile pervenire ad un giudizio non solo giuridicamente plausibile ma anche fattualmente accettabile...

 

Giovanni Barroccu
La prova scientifica nel processo penale
Diritto@Storia, n. 11, 2013
Nell’analizzare gli strumenti per mezzo dei quali la prova scientifica penetra all’interno del tessuto processuale, pur riconoscendone i meriti e l’indubbia portata innovatrice, occorre adottare le dovute cautele: vale a dire seguire un approccio di “critica consapevolezza” nei confronti di qualsiasi mezzo di prova e, a fortiori, nei confronti di quegli strumenti che possono creare certezze illusorie in merito all’accertamento.

 

Manuela Fumagalli, Alberto Priori
# Il cervello morale e il comportamento criminale
Psicologia e Giustizia, Anno 14, numero 2, Luglio-Dicembre 2013
Comprendere il cervello morale ha importanti potenziali implicazioni cliniche, forensi e legali. Da un punto di vista clinico, la diagnosi precoce di disturbi neurologici che possono generare alterazioni del comportamento morale o violento consentirebbe la migliore gestione di tali patologie e la possibilità di prevenirne le conseguenze sociali e familiari. Conoscere meglio tali disturbi permetterebbe di promuovere lo sviluppo di trattamenti specifici, dai farmaci alla neuromodulazione alla psicoterapia, per favorire la neuroplasticità cerebrale che potrebbe ripristinare un corretto funzionamento del circuito cerebrale morale.

 

Daniel J. Smith, Barbara I. Nicholl, Breda Cullen, Daniel Martin, Zia Ul-Haq, Jonathan Evans, Jason M. R. Gill, Beverly Roberts, John Gallacher, Daniel Mackay, Matthew Hotopf, Ian Deary, Nick Craddock, Jill P. Pell
# Prevalence and Characteristics of Probable Major Depression and Bipolar Disorder within UK Biobank: Cross-Sectional Study of 172,751 Participants
www.plosone.org/ November 2013

UK Biobank is a landmark cohort of over 500,000 participants which will be used to investigate genetic and nongenetic risk factors for a wide range of adverse health outcomes. This is the first study to systematically assess the prevalence and validity of proposed criteria for probable mood disorders within the cohort (major depression and bipolar disorder). Methods: This was a descriptive epidemiological study of 172,751 individuals assessed for a lifetime history of mood disorder in relation to a range of demographic, social, lifestyle, personality and health-related factors...

 

Stefano Lionetti, Marco Casellato, Donato La Muscatella
# La responsabilità colpevole tra libero arbitrio e neodeterminismo biologico. Profili psicologici e forensi dei nuovi strumenti delle neuroscienze
Brainfactor 11 ottobre 2013
I nuovi strumenti delle Neuroscienze hanno acquisito, negli ultimi anni, una posizione di sempre maggior rilievo nel campo delle Scienze Forensi, modificando entità e natura del loro contributo al Sistema Giustizia, che si trova così di fronte alla riproposizione di interrogativi riguardanti l’oggetto, i mezzi ed i criteri di conduzione dell’indagine sullo stato mentale del reo. Gli autori, da prospettive in costante relazione, tentano di rispondere a queste domande, approfondendo il rapporto tra libero arbitrio e responsabilità colpevole, anche alla luce delle più recenti innovazioni della clinica.

 

Phoebe Beth Harrop
# Minority Report or Majority Safety? fMRI, Predictinf Dangerousness and a Pre-Crime Future
University of Otago, 11th October 2013
I argue that in New Zealand, existing rights protection will prove ineffective in the face of legislation that is driven by public risk aversion, a particular fear of child sex offenders, and overarching precautionary policy. New Zealand’s weak separation of powers and lack of entrenched constitution means that there is a risk of (perceived) majority safety being protected at the expense of individual civil liberties. A Minority Report future may not be just science fiction.

 

Owen D. Jones, Anthony D. Wagner, David L. Faigman, Marcus E. Raichle
# Neuroscientists in court
www.nature.com/reviews/neuro | October 2013
Neuroscientific evidence is increasingly being offered in court cases. Consequently, the legal system needs neuroscientists to act as expert witnesses who can explain the limitations and interpretations of neuroscientific findings so that judges and jurors can make informed and appropriate inferences. The growing role of neuroscientists in court means that neuroscientists should be aware of important differences between the scientific and legal fields, and, especially, how scientific facts can be easily misunderstood by non-scientists, including judges and jurors.

 

Giulia Volpatti
# Imputabilità e neuroscienze: problematiche e prospettive
Università degli studi di Trieste, 2013
Nei confronti delle neuroscienze l’opinione dominante serba un atteggiamento diffidente ed alle volte anche di totale rigetto di queste nuove tecnologie. La motivazione risiede nella paura che le nuove scoperte, se amplificate e portate agli estremi, possano cancellare il principio del libero arbitrio dell’uomo, possano portare all’assurdo di considerare gli uomini come tutti inimputabili perché dominati dal cervello ed incapaci, quindi, di autodeterminarsi nel mondo esterno...  Nessuna rivoluzione copernicana, l’uomo resta sempre l’essere libero e capace di muoversi tra motivi antagonistici operando delle scelte consapevoli, senza essere dominato dal suo sistema nervoso...

 

Eric Kandel
# The New Science of Mind and the Future of Knowledge
Neuron 80, October 30, 2013
Aggression, like social behavior and fear, has been with us since the dawn of time. It is highly conserved in evolution—nearly every animal is capable of violence—yet we understand much less about the anatomy of aggression than the anatomy of fear. Darwin believed it was possible to study aggression in animals, and in 1928 Walter Hess proved him right. Hess found that by electrically stimulating certain areas in the hypothalamus of cats, he could elicit attack behavior.

 

Luca Casartelli, Cristiano Chiamulera
# Which future for neuroscience in forensic psychiatry: theoretical hurdles and empirical chances
Frontiers in Psychiatry, July 2013
We suggest that the preliminary condition to introduce neuroscience data in FPE (forensic psychiatric examination) is the assumption of a new perspective overcoming classical dualist models. Such new perspective permits to rule out misleading assumptions (i.e., the deterministic link between “mental defect” and specific behavior). Noteworthy, it is a  necessary but not sufficient condition to introduce neuroscience data in FPE, given that such data has to be evaluated case by case.

 

Robert P. Granacher, Jr
# Forensic Issues in the Structural or Functional Neuroimaging of Traumatic Brain Injury
www.intechopen.com/ 2013
As a general rule, a physician examining a TBI patient where it is known that the patient is in a legal context, should avoid issues of malingering, ratable disability impairment, whether or not the patient is telling the truth, and other factors that will have special importance in a legal forum. If the treating physician ventures into these areas, it puts at risk the doctor-patient relationship, and this should never be allowed to happen.

 

Francis X. Shen
# Legislating Neuroscience: The Case of Juvenile Justice
Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 985 (2013)
Using the illustrative case of juvenile justice and focusing on state legislatures, this Article begins to explore how neuroscience is being used in the statehouse. I find that juvenile justice policy discussion in state legislatures includes mention of adolescent brain science. It is unclear what effect this science has on policymaking, but brain science is being presented at legislative hearings, cited by legislators, and integrated into some new laws...

 

Bernice B. Donald
# Probing the Mind: Neuroscience, the Rules of Evidence, and the Constitution
57th UIA (Union Internationale des Avocats) Congress, 2013
It is still too early to determine whether the law-and-neuroscience trend will fall flat, or conversely, inspire the next great legal debate. But as neuroscience technology becomes more widely available and reliable, it becomes increasingly likely that evidence derived from such technology will raise the questions introduced in this report. As a legal community, we must take proactive steps to confront such challenges and develop well-prepared and well-reasoned responses to address them.

 

Peggy Larrieu, Bernard Roullet, Colin Gavaghan (eds)
# Neurolex sed ... dura lex? L’impact des neurosciences sur les disciplines juridiques et les autres sciences humaines: études comparées
Comparative Law Journal of the Pacific, New Zealand 2013
La rencontre du droit et des neurosciences: une contradiction? Sans apporter de réponse précise et immédiate, ce qui n'est d'ailleurs jamais de
bon augure pour la discipline juridique qui par définition a besoin de temps, le regard comparé sur la question de l'utilisation des neurosciences par le droit a le mérite de susciter des interrogations d'ordre épistémologique. Elle permet aussi et surtout, dans une démarche réflexive, de revisiter les bases de notre culture juridique dont on a bien souvent plus conscience.

 

Benedikt Habermeyer, Fabrizio Esposito, Nadja Händel, Patrick Lemoine, Markus Klarhöfer, Ralph Mager, lker Dittmann, Erich Seifritz, Marc Graf
# Immediate processing of erotic stimuli in paedophilia and controls: a case control study
BMC Psychiatry 2013, 13:88
Our event related study design confirmed that erotic pictures activate some of the brain regions already known to be involved in the processing of erotic pictures when these are presented in blocks. In addition, it revealed that erotic pictures of prepubescent children activate brain regions critical for choosing response strategies in both groups, and that erotically salient stimuli selectively activate a brain region in paedophilic subjects that had previously been attributed to reward and punishment, and that had been shown to be implicated in the suppression of erotic response and deception

 

Jean Decety, Chenyi Chen, Carla Harenski, Kent A. Kiehl
# An fMRI study of affective perspective taking in individuals with psychopathy: imagining another in pain does not evoke empathy
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, September 2013
There is general consensus among theorists that the ability to adopt and entertain the psychological perspective of others has a number of important consequences, including empathic concern. Adopting the perspective of another is a powerful way to place one self in the situation or emotional state of that person. Our results demonstrate that while individuals with psychopathy exhibited a strong response in pain-affective brain regions when taking an imagine-self perspective, they failed to recruit the neural circuits that are were activated in controls during an imagine-other perspective, and that may contribute to lack of empathic concern.

 

Joyce W. Lacy, Craig E. L. Stark
# The neuroscience of memory: implications for the courtroom
www.usdistrictcourtconferencenv.com/ Nature | Neurosciences | Vol 14, September 2013
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.

 

D. A. Baker, N. J. Schweitzer, Evan F. Risko, Jillian M. Ware
# Visual Attention and the Neuroimage Bias
www.plosone.org/ Volume 8 | 1 September 2013
The influence of neuroimages on recidivism judgments can potentially be attributed to differences between the types of evidence that might be considered when making judgments related to what a person has done in the past versus what a person might do in the future.

 

Maia Pujara, Julian C. Motzkin, Joseph P. Newman, Kent A. Kiehl, Michael Koenigs
# Neural correlates of reward and loss sensitivity in psychopathy
http://koenigslab.psychiatry.wisc.edu/ SCAN Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci (2013)

Psychopathy is a personality disorder associated with callous and impulsive behavior and criminal recidivism. It has long been theorized that psychopaths have deficits in processing reward and punishment. Here, we use structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the neural correlates of reward and loss sensitivity in a group of criminal psychopaths. Forty-one adult male prison inmates (n = 18 psychopaths and n = 23 non-psychopaths) completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging task involving the gain or loss of money.

 

Robert B. Michael, Eryn J. Newman, Matti Vuorre, Geoff Cumming, Maryanne Garry
# On the (non)persuasive power of a brain image
Psychon Bull Rev. 2013 Aug
The persuasive power of brain images has captivated scholars in many disciplines. Like others, we too were intrigued by the finding that a brain image makes accompanying information more credible. But when our attempts to build on this effect failed, we instead ran a series of systematic replications of the original study-comprising 10 experiments and nearly 2,000 subjects. When we combined the original data with ours in a meta-analysis, we arrived at a more precise estimate of the effect, determining that a brain image exerted little to no influence. The persistent meme of the influential brain image should be viewed with a critical eye.

 

Jaak Panksepp, Jules B. Panksepp
# Toward a cross-species understanding of empathy
Trends Neurosci. 2013 August ; 36(8)
Although signs of empathy have now been well documented in non-human primates, only during the past few years have systematic observations suggested that a primal form of empathy exists in rodents. Thus, the study of empathy in animals has started in earnest. Here we review recent studies indicating that rodents are able to share states of fear, and highlight how affective neuroscience approaches to the study of primary-process emotional systems can help to delineate how primal empathy is constituted in mammalian brains. Cross-species evolutionary approaches to understanding the neural circuitry of emotional ‘contagion’ or ‘resonance’ between nearby animals, together with the underlying neurochemistries, may help to clarify the origins of human empathy.

 

Alessia Farano
# Percorsi della responsabilità: le neuroscienze cambiano tutto o niente?
www.i-lex.it/ Giugno 2013, numero 18

Il discorso delle neuroscienze, cioè, afferisce all'uomo inteso come idem, dunque a ciò che nell'uomo non muta, il suo corpo, ma anche la sua indole, le predisposizioni genetiche, laddove la responsabililtà rileva dell'identità intesa come ipseità, cioè quella permanenza di sé che tiene insieme in una cornice narrativa coerente le azione passate, di cui ci riconosciamo autori, e le azioni future verso le quali ci impegniamo. La neuroscienza allora cambia tutto e niente, a patto di restituirla alla sua funzione descrittiva, preservando così una nozione di responsabilità radicata nell'ipseità.

 

Lene Bomann-Larsen
# Voluntary Rehabilitation? On Neurotechnological Behavioural Treatment, Valid Consent and (In)appropriate Offers
Neuroethics (2013) 6:65–77
Criminal offenders may be offered to participate in voluntary rehabilitation programs aiming at correcting undesirable behaviour, as a condition of early release. Behavioural treatment may include direct intervention into the central nervous system (CNS). This article discusses under which circumstances voluntary rehabilitation by CNS intervention is justified. It is argued that although the context of voluntary rehabilitation is a coercive circumstance, consent may still  be effective, in the sense that it can meet formal criteria for informed consent.

 

Mertins, Vanessa; Schote, Andrea B.; Meyer, Jobst
# Variants of the Monoamine Oxidase A Gene (MAOA) predict free-riding behavior in women in a strategic public goods experiment 
www.econstor.eu/ IAAEU Discussion Paper Series in Economics, No. 02/2013
The aim of this study is to uncover genetic variations that influence differences in cooperative behavior. For this reason, we identify types of players within  a strategic public goods experiment. We explicitly test for an association between individual  variance in strategy choice and the functional promoter-region repeat of the monoamine oxidase A  gene (MAOA). Our experimental findings suggest a link between MAOA and the occurrence of  free-riding in females. Females with MAOA-L are less likely to behave like weak free-riders than  MAOA-H carriers, whereas among males, our results did not support a significant relation between  genotype and player type. Furthermore, MAOA-L female carriers contribute more than MAOA-   subjects to the public good if they know that others contribute nothing, and they showed slightly  lower scores on the Machiavellianism scale. This is the first piece of evidence that genotype might predict player type within a public goods setting.

 

Bruce