Neuroscience, Ethics & the Law



SLN #: 13618
Course Prefix: LAW-791
Course Section: 003
Credit Hours: 3
Instructor(s): Grey;Robert

Course Description:
Advances in the rapidly developing field of neuroscience have allowed scientists to develop new techniques in investigating the brain activity that underlies cognitive phenomena. We will look at ways in which these advances challenge the law both directly (such as changing the common law definition of death from the cardio-pulmonary standard to brain death) and indirectly (such as changing our views on mental retardation and criminal culpability.) Thus, we will examine how the various emerging neuroscientific findings and technologies could or should affect such topics as moral reasoning, criminal culpability, lie detection, bias detection, cognitive enhancement, and punishment. The first part of the course will explore the neurological definition of personhood, as well as the implications of monitoring and predicting human behavior. The second part of the course will focus on efforts to manipulate or modify the brain. We will also explore some of the challenging questions raised by the increasing use of brain scans as evidence in the courtroom.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 3
Grading Option: Numeric Grade and ONE-Time Pass Option is Available, or Letter Grade Only
Written Assignment: Yes, group project and paper
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: Yes
Skills Requirement: No
Final Exam Given: No
Paper or In-Class Presentation: Presentation to class on subject of paper
Participation Points: Yes
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Additional Attendance Policy: Mandatory
Online Course Site: None