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This reception contrasts sharply with that accorded to two fields that have also challenged dominant notions of (legal) rationality: behavioral law and economics, and the emerging field of law and neuroscience.
In this Article, we examine the ambivalent reception of this promising body of work.
Graph of the Cumulative Total of Law and Neuroscience Publications: 1984-2015 Law and emotions scholarship has reached a critical moment in its trajectory.
It has become a varied and dynamic body of work, mobilizing diverse disciplinary understandings, to analyze the range of emotions that implicate law and legal decisionmaking.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), along with its acute and chronic sequelae, has emerged as a focus of neuroethical issues, such as informed consent for treatment and research, diagnostic and prognostic uncertainties, and the subjectivity of interpretation of data.
Despite this progress, practitioners of modern neuroimaging struggle with two kinds of limitations: those that attend the particular neuroimaging methods we have today and those that would limit any method of imaging neural activity, no matter how powerful.Notwithstanding the breadth of its epistemological challenges, law and emotions scholarship can contribute to the familiar normative work of the law—revising and strengthening existing doctrine, improving decisionmaking, and informing new legal policies.Moreover, it can facilitate the less familiar but nevertheless valuable task of using law to improve people’s affective lives.Neuroscientists have long sought to study the dynamic activity of the human brain—what's happening in the brain, that is, while people are thinking, feeling, and acting.Ideally, an inside look at brain function would simultaneously and continuously measure the biochemical state of every cell in the central nervous system.
I will consider in particular the preeminent method of functional neuroimaging: BOLD f MRI.