Sunday, March 02, 2008

Neuroscience and the Law

Image:Carl Zimmer, October 16, 2007.jpg

Once again, a really great "blogging heads" video at* from New York Times science journalist and author Carl Zimmer- this time in dicussion with Prof. Michael Gazzaniga on the topic : "Brains and Gavels".

When you touch your nose with your finger, you perceive the events to occur simultaneously- even though the impulse from your nose hits your brain a lot earlier (the neuron is a lot shorter).

In any case, by the time your conscious self has registered it, the event has already happened- in fact it is long gone. What if that bad decision you made to shoot somebody happened before you were actually conscious of the decision? Can you still be guilty?

Will MRI scans one day replace lie detector tests? Will juries be selected after exhaustive analysis to remove the unconsciously biased? All this and more jam packed into less than an hour.

Even better- click on the "1.4" button and speed it up- thankfully the tone is unchipmunked.

* ever wondered how to get a .tv web address? Sign up at the beautiful Pacific Island of Tuvalu- the 4th smallest country in the world. It's getting smaller every day thanks to global warming and rising sea levels!

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