Monthly Archives: July 2012

Alison Bennett interviewed by Pam Baker in Coming Soon: Brains… Brains… Juries Can Read Your Brain!

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Using brain scans to evaluate motive and intent of the accused in court sounds like something straight out of a science fiction tale. Yet here it is in a courtroom near you. And this new technology is steadily moving closer to becoming a routine consideration in the business world too.

Brain scans produce very revealing data. Neuroscience, in essence, is perfecting the art of mind reading to an almost terrifying degree of accuracy. And businesses are already scrambling to use the results in as many ways as possible.

“Neuroscientific data has been admitted as evidence in over one hundred criminal trials now, and has been cited in at least one U. S. Supreme Court case,” says Alison K. Bennett, M.S., senior litigation consultant at Bloom Strategic Consulting, a firm that helps lawyers construct winning trial and litigation strategies.

The Supreme Court case to which she refers is Justice Breyer’s citation of neuroscience research in his videogame dissent in the Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Assoc. case. Breyer wrote, “[C]utting-edge neuroscience has shown that ‘virtual violence in video game playing results in those neural patterns that are considered characteristic for aggressive cognition and behavior.’” For that reason and others, Breyer thought that the legislators’ conclusion (that the videogames in question could harm children) should be upheld. Read more…