criminal law; neuroscience; neurolaw


In this Article, I argue that our field should more readily acknowledge that there is a history to law and neuroscience. A central challenge is whether, and how, we will learn from this history. I do not endeavor here to provide a comprehensive history of brain science and law but rather to highlight a series of four important, yet often overlooked, “moments.” These moments are (1) foundational medico-legal dialogue in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, (2) the introduction of electroencephalography evidence into the legal system in the mid- twentieth century, (3) the use of psychosurgery for violence prevention in the 1960s and 1970s, and, most recently, (4) the development of neurolaw in personal injury litigation in the late 1980s and 1990s. I review each of these moments in Parts I–IV, respectively, and then offer a discussion in Part V of what this history means for future inquiries into neurolaw.