To what extent was it his biology, and to what extent was it him? – chris nelson dot ca
Dec 212011
 

I’ve been catching up on a lot of reading with my kindle and the lovely instapaper.com. I found this article particularly good. Not only because it outlines how technology will change how we view crimes, but also a framework for how we should implement that understanding in the future. I recommend checking it out:

The Brain on Trial by David Eagleman in the Atlantic.

Today, neuroimaging is a crude technology, unable to explain the details of individual behavior. We can detect only large-scale problems, but within the coming decades, we will be able to detect patterns at unimaginably small levels of the microcircuitry that correlate with behavioral problems. Neuroscience will be better able to say why people are predisposed to act the way they do. As we become more skilled at specifying how behavior results from the microscopic details of the brain, more defense lawyers will point to biological mitigators of guilt, and more juries will place defendants on the not-blameworthy side of the line.

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