Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Neuroscience and Law
Henry T. Greely
Neuroscience is in the midst of a revolution that will have substantial consequences for law, both broadly through the ways it will change society and directly through its immediate applications to the legal system. This revolution is part of the general explosion of understanding about biology, but the unique importance of the brain to human behavior, and hence human society and law, makes the revolution in neuroscience crucial. Neuroethics is the term given to a new field of study that examines the ethical, legal, and social implications of these advances in neuroscience. Advances from the neuroscience revolution are likely to affect law in at least four major areas: (1) new insights into issues of responsibility, (2) improved abilities to “read minds,” (3) better prediction of future behaviors, and (4) the prospects of human brain enhancement. For each of those four areas, relevant questions include how powerful, if at all, the ...