Vanderbilt to Lead MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Study

The MacArthur Foundation wants to know how the brain is involved in criminal behavior, and it’s giving Vanderbilt University $4.8 million to lead a study into just that.

The project involves researchers from more than a dozen institutions. They’ll be directed by Vanderbilt professor Owen Jones, who teaches both law and biology.

“People really often want to know why did a person commit a crime, why did they act the way they did and neuroscience holds some promise for learning more about learning how and why people behave the way they do.”

The researchers will also look into whether things like brain scans should be used as evidence in court cases. And they’ll look into methods for deciding if a defendant is capable of self-control.

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