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date: 24 March 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article describes some of the diverse areas where neuroscience findings have overlapped with policy and the law and provides concrete questions that policymakers, including judges and lawyers, interest groups, individual lobbyists, and legislators, should answer before relying on neuroscience research. The aim is to inject a little humility into the way neuroscience findings are used by policymakers. The central thesis is that neuroscience findings, particularly those that relate to complex human behavior, must be used with care and caution. Until they are thoroughly vetted through the scientific process, neuroscience findings must be interpreted narrowly and in context, or they risk being abused for political gain. One use of neuroscience would be when research findings lead to the development of a targeted delivery drug that operates on specific faulty mechanisms, completely correcting or alleviating debilitating symptoms.

Keywords: neuroscience, policymakers, human behavior, law, neuroscience findings

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