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Owen D. Jones Selected Media Coverage of Scholarship

Selected Media Coverage of Scholarship

Brains on Trial with Alan Alda - October 15, 2013

Vanderbilt University MyVU - Trials and Errors: Research network explores promise, limitations of using neuroscience to inform criminal justice - August 5, 2020

ABA Journal - Millions have been invested in the emerging field of neurolaw. Where is it leading? - June 2020

Knowledge Magazine - The brain, the criminal and the courts - States of mind that the legal system cares about — memory, responsibility and mental maturity — have long been difficult to describe objectively, but neuroscientists are starting to detect patterns. Coming soon to a courtroom near you? - August 30, 2019

Vanderbilt University MyVU - How your brain decides blame and punishment—and how it can be changed - September 16, 2015

Vanderbilt University MyVU - Fault trumps gruesome evidence when it comes to meting out punishment - August 3, 2014

The Science Channel - Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman - July 18, 2012 (shorter excerpt here)

Futurity - In tool trade, Chimps reveal a quirky bias - July 12, 2012

National Law Journal - Study: Jurors can't distinguish between knowing and reckless conduc t - December 20, 2011 (PDF)

The Lawyer - The Mind, Made Up - Fall 2011

Landmark law and neuroscience network expands at Vanderbilt - August 24, 2011

National Law Journal - Project bridging law and neuroscience lands at Vanderbilt University - July 26, 2010

Vanderbilt University MyVU - Landmark national project on law and neuroscience to be based at Vanderbilt - July 20, 2010

Scientific American - The Legal Brain: How Does the Brain Make Judgments about Crimes , by Johannes Haushofer and Ernst Fehr - January 27, 2009

Wall Street Journal - The brain, your Honor, will take the witness stand, by Robert Lee Hotz - January 15, 2009 (PDF)

New York Law Journal - New Interdisciplinary Research Enters Legal System, by Ken Strutin - January 15, 2009

Financial Times - Origins of crime and punishment, by Alan Kane - December 12, 2008

New Scientist - Justice may be hard-wired into the human brain, by Ewen Callaway -  December 11, 2008

Science News - In the brain, justice is served from many parts, by Tina Hesman Saey -  December 10, 2008

Neuron - You Shouldn't Have: Your Brain on Others' Crimes, by Johannes Haushofer and Ernst Fehr - November 19, 2008

The Economist - Leaders - The Curse of Untidiness: DNA All over the place - June 19, 2008 (PDF)

The Economist - Science & Technology - The Endowment Effect: It's mine, I tell you - June 19, 2008 (PDF)

Vanderbilt Magazine - Biology, Behavior, and the Tools of Law, featured faculty member - Spring 2008

New York Times Magazine - The Brain on the Stand: How neuroscience is transforming the legal system, by Jeffrey Rosen - March 11, 2007 (PDF)


Other Recent Media

Frontiers in Neuroscience - Commentary: Parsing the Behavioral and Brain Mechanisms of Third-Party Punishment - June 29, 2017

US Law Week: Opinion: Lies, Brains and Courtrooms - January 12, 2017 - Professor Owen Jones and Judge Morris Hoffman explain why lie detection via neuroimaging is not ready, yet, for courtroom use.  They also explore legal and policy issues the legal system may face if the techniques improve to the point they may become admissible in evidence.

National Law Journal: Opinion: Readying the legal community for more neuroscientific evidence - September 12, 2016 - Owen Jones, New York Alumni Chancellor’s Professor of Law, writes in this opinion piece that two things increasingly intersect in litigation and policy formation nationwide. One is the long-standing dependence of law on facts that are ultimately about brain activity. The second factor driving the relevance of neurolaw, as the the new field of law and neuroscience is sometimes called, is that the past two decades have seen leaps in our ability to learn, noninvasively, about the structure and functioning of the brain. Understanding complex advances in neurolaw can aid the administration of justice.

Owen D. Jones , Vanderbilt’s New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair in Law, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science . December 10, 2015

Vanderbilt University Research News - How your brain decides blame and punishment–and how it can be changed. September 16, 2015

Vanderbilt University Research News - Law and neuroscience research gets $1.4 million in additional grant money. September 15, 2015

Owen Jones , who leads a national, multi-university and multidisciplinary research project into the intersection of neuroscience and criminal law, was named the winner of the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award. April 3, 2014

Chronicle of Higher Education: The end of (discussing) free will - March 18, 2012 - Free will is to human behavior what a perfect vacuum is to terrestrial physics—a largely abstract endpoint from which to begin thinking, before immediately moving on to consider and confront the practical frictions of daily existence, writes Professor Owen Jones.

NPR: Brain Science in the Courts - October 7, 2011 - Should a convicted murderer be given a lighter sentence if a brain scan suggests he can't tell right from wrong? Courts are increasingly confronting such questions as the use of MRIs as evidence becomes more common. Host Dave Iverson discusses the intersection of brain science and the law with Nita Farahany, associate professor of law, Owen Jones, professor of law and biological sciences, and Ken Murray, assistant federal public defender in Phoenix.

Big Picture Science: Whodunit, Who'll Do It?– September 19, 2011 - Sophisticated tools that give scientists an unprecedented look at the structure and the activity of the human brain are now being used in the courtroom. Owen Jones, the New York Alumni Chancellor's Chair in Law and Professor of Biological Sciences, discusses the intersection of law and neuroscience, during both guilt/innocenceand sentencing phases of a trial.

The Tennessean: Neuroscience causes court headaches - September 7, 2011 - Researchers at Vanderbilt University are seeking to provide guidance on how novel technologies like functional MRI scans should be used in courtrooms with the support of a $4.85 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Director Owen Jones, professor of law and biological sciences, and Jeffrey Schall, E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Neuroscience, are quoted.

Nature: Neuroscience vs. philosophy: Taking aim at free will - August 31, 2011 - As humans, we like to think that our decisions are under our conscious control — that we have free will. Philosophers have debated that concept for centuries, and now experimental neuroscientists are raising a new challenge. They argue that consciousness of a decision may be a mere biochemical afterthought, with no influence whatsoever on a person's actions. According to this logic, they say, free will is an illusion. Owen Jones, director of the Law and Neuroscience Project at Vanderbilt, suggests that research into such questions could help to identify an individual's level of responsibility.

Science and The Law: fMRI Lie Detection Fails a Legal Test - June 11, 2010 - Science - Lie-detection technology that uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of brain activity is not yet ready for use in the courtroom, a federal magistrate judge in Tennessee decided last week. Owen Jones, professor of law and biological sciences and incoming director of the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project, is quoted.

Brain scan lie-detection deemed far from ready for courtroom - June 1, 2010 - Wired - The magazine's "Wired Science" blog reports on a federal court decision that excludes fMRI findings, at least gathered under the conditions present in one particular fraud case, from being admitted into evidence. Owen Jones, professor of law and biological sciences and incoming director of the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project, is quoted.

Brain Scans Not Acceptable for Detecting Lies, Says Judge - June 1, 2010 - ScienceInsider - In the first decision of its kind, a federal magistrate judge has ruled that functional magnetic resonance imaging shouldn't be permitted in the courtroom as a new type of lie detector. While Judge Tu Pham agreed that the technique had been subject to testing and peer review, it failed on two other points suggested by the Supreme Court to weigh cases like this one: the test of proven accuracy and general acceptance by scientists. Owen Jones, professor of law and biological sciences and incoming director of the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project, is quoted.

Eyewitness account of 'watershed' brain scan legal hearing - May 17, 2010 - Wired Science - Owen Jones, professor of law and biological sciences and incoming director of the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project, is interviewed about the first federal admissibility hearing for functional MRI lie detection.

Magnets can manipulate morality - March 29, 2010 - Discovery News - Scientists at MIT have used a magnetic device to target a certain part of the brain that influences a person's judgment. When the magnet scrambles the signals of those cells, study participants were less able to separate good intentions from bad outcomes. Owen Jones, professor of law and biological sciences, is quoted.

Brain science starting to impact varied fields - October 15, 2009 - Reuters - It used to be that only doctors were interested in brain scans, searching the images for tumors, concussions or other health problems hiding inside a patient's skull. More and more, though, images showing neurons firing in different areas of the brain are gaining attention from experts in fields as varied as law, marketing, education, criminology, philosophy and ethics. Owen Jones, professor of law and biology and co-director of the Law and Neuroscience Project, is quoted.