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Guilty: Neuroscience Speaker David Eagleman Explores the Criminal Mind [VIDEO]
Science | September 21, 2012

Guilty: Neuroscience Speaker David Eagleman Explores the Criminal Mind [VIDEO]

“At some point there will be a crime committed...and we will find that the perpetrator had a brain tumor,” neuroscience speaker David Eagleman tells CNN. “Then, society is going to have to deal with [the] very difficult question about [the] relationship between brain and behavior and [the] question of culpability.”

As the founder and director of the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law at the Baylor College of Medicine, Eagleman has been relentlessly researching the relationship between the activity in your brain, and how it affects your actions. CNN's Next List will profile Eagleman, and his research in the field of neurolaw, on Sunday, September 23.  (A preview of the interview can be found above, and the full length interview can be found here.)

"I'm interested in neurolaw because it's really where the rubber hits the road in neuroscience," Eagleman says,"it's where we can take all the things we're learning about human behavior, and how humans are differenct, and translate that into social policy."

The intersection of neuroscience and the law has been a highly contested issue in society for years. Understanding which of your actions you can control and which ones you cannot is essential to defining social policy and assigning punishment for criminal activity. Eagleman—who is a New York Times best-selling author and a Guggenheim fellow—says that his research will determine "how modern neuroscience will affect the legal system, how we think about criminal behavior and punishment, and new ideas for rehabilitation.”
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