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MacArthur Foundation Archives

How your brain decides blame and punishment—and how it can be changed

Sep. 16, 2015—New work by researchers at Vanderbilt University and Harvard University confirms that a specific area of the brain, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, is crucial to punishment decisions.

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Education and Psychology Research Trans-institutional Programs


Law and neuroscience research gets $1.4 million in additional grant money

Sep. 14, 2015—A $1.4 million grant will allow a research network based at Vanderbilt to continue its study of the intersection of neuroscience and criminal justice.

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Law, Business and Politics myVU myVU News releases Research Trans-institutional Programs


Peabody collaboration encourages teens to become ‘makers of content’

Sep. 16, 2014—A collaboration between Peabody College and the Nashville Public Library has created a new public library makerspace for area teens called Studio NPL.

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Education and Psychology myVU myVU News Research


Landmark book ‘Law and Neuroscience’ released

Sep. 5, 2014—The new book 'Law and Neuroscience' is the definitive reference book on the use of neuroscientific evidence in courtrooms.

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Law, Business and Politics releases Research


Fault trumps gruesome evidence when it comes to meting out punishment

Aug. 3, 2014—A new brain study has identified the brain mechanisms that underlie our judgment of how severely a person who has harmed another should be punished.

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Education and Psychology releases Research


Change the world, former surgeon general tells Vanderbilt seniors

May. 8, 2014—Former surgeon general Regina M. Benjamin told Vanderbilt graduating seniors to change the world during her Senior Class Day address in Memorial Gym.

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myVU myVU News releases


Two Vanderbilt professors part of PBS series ‘Brains on Trial’ Sept. 11 and 18

Sep. 5, 2013—Research conducted at Vanderbilt is featured in "Brains on Trial with Alan Alda," a two-part televised series airing Sept. 11 and Sept. 18 on PBS that explores how the growing ability to separate truth from lies may radically affect the way criminal trials are conducted in the future.

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Law, Business and Politics myVU myVU News releases Research


Groundbreaking legal research shows potentially serious failures in the Model Penal Code

Dec. 1, 2011—Groundbreaking new legal research from a team of Vanderbilt University and other researchers suggests that juror confusion over how to apply the Model Penal Code in criminal trials could cause major, unnoticed and life-altering sentencing errors.

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Law, Business and Politics releases Research


Innovative Vanderbilt joint degree combines neuroscience and law

Nov. 17, 2011—Applications are being accepted for the second class of Vanderbilt University’s innovative Ph.D/J.D. program combining the study of law and neuroscience. Vanderbilt launched the first such program in the country in 2010 when it enrolled Bowdoin College alumnus Matthew Ginther to be the first to take on the challenging curriculum that alternates classes at Vanderbilt Law School and the university’s graduate program in neuroscience.

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Law, Business and Politics releases Research


VUCast: Future diabetes vaccine?

Sep. 12, 2011—Vanderbilt leads the nation in a breakthrough drug study that may prevent type-1 diabetes! Plus, how studying the brain could impact criminal law. And a special tribute on the anniversary of 9/11.

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featured video video vucast


Landmark law and neuroscience network expands at Vanderbilt

Aug. 24, 2011—Vanderbilt University has been awarded a $4.85 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to manage the newly established MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience.

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Law, Business and Politics myVU releases Research


Landmark national project on law and neuroscience to be based at Vanderbilt

Jul. 20, 2010—Vanderbilt University professor Owen Jones, who is one of the nation’s few professors of both law and biology, has been named director of the national Law and Neuroscience Project, which will now be headquartered at Vanderbilt.

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Law, Business and Politics releases Research