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Brain Science and the Law

Episode 1 of 3

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 15 November 2011

In part one of his series exploring the coming "Brain Culture," Matthew Taylor asks if the ability to scan brains will transform our system of criminal justice. He meets the doctor who operated on a paedophile's brain and seemingly "cured" him. He explores how studies on the brains of criminal psychopaths are changing our understanding of whether anti-social behaviour is "hard wired" in the brain. These ideas raise the controversial question of a new legal defence: "my brain made me do it." Should this be accepted in court?

These studies have also inspired pioneering new work with young children, tackling brain-based bad behaviour with remarkable new techniques. Matthew also explores the frontiers of a transformative, but potentially frightening, new technology: the brain scanner in the courtroom. He looks at how scans have been used to test memories and evidence in courts so far - including in a case of murder.

Producer: Mukul Devichand.

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