Neuroscience, Ethics & Law



SLN #: 12716
Course Prefix: LAW-791
Course Section: 010
Credit Hours: 2
Instructor(s): Grey

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: 2
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Written Assignment: Individual paper and a group project
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: Yes
Skills Requirement: No
Limited Enrollment Number: 18 law students & 18 graduate students
Final Exam Given: No
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Online Course Site: Blackboard