Neuroscience and Public Policy

Ethics, Society, and Advances in Brain Science

Judy Illes, Professor of Neurology at The University of British Columbia, explores the impact that advances in the treatment of the nervous system disorders has on society today and into the future. Illes focuses on consciousness disorders, spinal cord injuries and neuro-degenerative diseases.

Our Brain’s Addiction to Stories

Indre Viskontas, Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of San Francisco, explains how the brain stores information and the physiology behind how memories are constructed.

International Governance of Human Genome Editing

Pilar N. Ossorio, Professor at the UW-Madison Law School, discusses the ongoing multinational work to develop guidelines, principles and institutional oversight for altering or editing human genomes. Ossorio explains the challenges of regulating this globally available technology including cultural constraints and the lack of binding international agreements.

Mindreading: Past, Present and Future

Adina Roskies, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Dartmouth College, discusses neuroimaging as a means of determining mental content. Roskies explores neuroimaging as tool for systematic mapping of the brain.

Memories, Lies and the Brain

Anthony Wagner, Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Stanford University, explores neuroscience brain imaging as a means of determining the difference between actual memory and deception. Prosecutors, judges and juries must determine whether testimony is honest and accurate or dishonest and inaccurate. Mental state decoding could help to provide answers to these questions.

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.

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