Neuroscience and Public Policy

The Future of Law and Neuroscience

Francis Shen, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota Law School, discusses the past, present and future use of neuroscience research in criminal and civil court cases. Neuroscience research areas include: mental health, dementia, prenatal care, crime and education.

Gene-Environment Effects on Cognitive Development

Jason Fletcher, Associate Professor, La Follette School of Public Affairs, UW-Madison, presents two studies which highlight differences in cognitive developmental trajectories by looking at genes and environmental interactions.

The U.S. Campaign Against Psychosurgery

Jenell Johnson, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Arts, UW-Madison, focuses on the campaign led by psychiatrist Peter Breggin to stop the use of psychosurgery as a means of curbing violent behavior. The controversy cummulated in congressional hearings, legislation and the formation of a federal commission.

The Restless Brain

Marcus Raichle, Professor, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, argues that the essence of the function of the brain involves information processing for interpreting, responding to and predicting environmental demands.

Response to Challenging Behaviors in Dementia Care

Kristen Felten, Dementia Specialist, Office of Aging, Wisconsin Department of Health Services discusses recent court cases in Wisconsin which resulted in a statewide plan to care for individuals with dementia who become involved in the crisis response system. The Dept. of Health Services has launched a public policy initiative to redesign the system of caring for people with dementia.

Juvenile Justice, Neuroscience and Legal Policy

BJ Casey, Sackler Professor, Developmental Psychobiology, Weill Cornell Medical College, presents the latest findings on brain and behavior, which may explain increased risk taking and experimentation during adolescence. Casey discusses treatments used to promote rehabilitation and to reduce recidivism of juveniles in the justice system.

Linking Education and Neuroscience

Edward Hubbard, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, UW-Madison, discusses recent findings which suggest neuroscience can be used to improve educational outcomes. Hubbard shares examples from his work which show the cognitive and neural mechanisms of basic arithmetic.

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