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The American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies - Webinar

Neuroscience and the Law   (MEMBERS ONLY)

Presented by Michael Koval, Ph.D.

This webinar is only available to members
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Webinar Objectives:

  • Learn about the ways in which neuroscience and the law intersect.
  • Learn about some of the major legal issues being explored by neuroscientists.
  • Learn about cognitive bias in forensics.
  • Learn about the limitations of neuroscience in the context of criminal justice.


Neuroscience and the law are inextricably linked: law regulates people’s behaviour; behaviour is controlled by our brains, and neuroscience is the study of the brain, so the way that the brain works needs to be taken into consideration by forensic scientists who analyse evidence in criminal cases. Over the past few years there has been a steadily increasing use of neuroscience in legal proceedings, which means it has become increasingly important to recognise what neuroscience can and cannot do, and the implications of using it improperly. In terms of forensic science this means being aware of cognitive biases that could affect decision making when collecting and analysing scientific evidence, and recognising the importance of forensic mental health in the assessment and treatment of patients with mental disorders that either have or are at risk of offending. This presentation serves as an introduction to the field of neuroscience and the law, and includes a description of the Neuroscience and Law graduate certificate offered by Michigan State University as an online program.

Presenter Biography:

Michael Koval graduated with a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Western Ontario where he studied the role of the prefrontal cortex in the cognitive control of behaviour. He was then a Postdoc at Duke University where he began by investigating the neurophysiology of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with Dr. Marc Sommer, then switched gears by transferring to the Psychiatry Department where he managed the Brain Stimulation Division under the supervision of Drs. Andrew Krystal, Shawn McClintock and Sarah Lisanby. Having acquired clinical experience with the Duke TMS Clinic he then ran the Brain Stimulation Clinic at the Central Health Medical Practice in Hong Kong, before ending up at Michigan State University as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Neuroscience and the Law Graduate Certificate Program.

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