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Focus program on Neuroscience & Law

The focus program on neuroscience and law at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law grew out of a hugely successful series of biennial conferences and speaking events on issues related to neurotechnologies, law, and policy. It addresses the implications for law in the fast-developing field of neuroscience, focusing on core legal issues involved in decision-making, behavior, and responsibility. Among other areas, it explores the significant challenges neuroscience developments are currently presenting to criminal law, tort law, contract law, and constitutional law.

Now a part of the Governance of Emerging Technologies (GET) Program, the neuroscience focus area currently explores:

  • Problems at the intersection of neuroscience and criminal justice, such as the decision-making processes among defendants, jurors, judges, and witnesses, predictive or correlate biomarkers for behavior, and mental capacity and culpability.
  • The relationship between brain development and cognitive capacities in adolescents.
  • Developments in the prediction, diagnosis, and treatment of traumatic brain injuries, and the implications for liability, evidentiary, and compensation issues.
  • Neurotechnologies such as lie-detection, cognitive enhancement, predictive scanning, and remote brain control.
  • Reliability and application of these technologies for legal and ethical questions such as those involved in end-of-life decisions, brain death, addiction, capacity, violent behavior, and injury