Recently published on SSRN (and forthcoming in Mental Health Law & Policy Journal):
VALERIE F. REYNA, Cornell University
CHRISTOPHER SLOBOGIN, Vanderbilt University - Law School
Neuroscientists are rapidly adding to our understanding of human behavior. This article argues that if the law wants the full benefits of neuro-scientific knowledge, it should attempt to develop a lingua franca — a method of communication understandable to both scientists and lawyers — based on neuro-scientific concepts. As a demonstration of such an attempt, we describe in a preliminary way how the criminal law’s concept of self-control might be operationalized using constructs, domains, processes and tasks familiar to neuroscientists. In the course of doing so, we stress the limits of scientific inference (particularly as it pertains to legally relevant individual-level assessment) and the fact that, despite semantic similarities, scientific constructs often do not track with its normative precepts.