Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Neuroscience Funding Gets A Boost


Just a couple weeks ago the Justine and Catherine MacArthur Foundation awarded a $10 million dollar grant to twelve universities to study neuroimaging and the law. The purpose of the grant is to get a better understanding of the relationship between functional neuroimaging studies and forensic issues such as competence to make decisions, criminal responsibiity and disabiity. This grant has the potential to really change the nature of psychiatric expert testimony.

The grant has three components: brain abnormalities, substance abuse and decision-making. There will be some overlap between these areas, but the general idea is to start bridging the gap between what is seen on a functional MRI and the ultimate legal questions of criminal culpability and competence. This can be a life or death question---in Roper v Simmons neuroimaging was used as evidence that juveniles should not be given the death penalty. Hopefully the MacArthur grant will shed some light on whether the degree of brain myelination in juveniles is, in fact, relevant at all to criminal responsibility. Right now the legal opinions based on neuroimaging have tended to leap a bit beyond what science has shown in my opinion.

8 comments:

dinah said...

I'm boycotting all posts without a graphic. I like pretty pictures.

ClinkShrink said...

How many pictures of brains do we need on this blog?

ClinkShrink said...

There. Because you're my friend and I like you.

dinah said...

aaaah! much better....

Sarebear said...

This makes me think Dinah was humming the tune of, "If I Only Had a Brain".

You KNOW I had to say it.

Somebody had to. Hee hee!

I saw a knit purse that was a brain the other day, and have been looking for a pattern (it was on a runway model's arm as she was modeling).

Oh, I've got some links for anatomically-correct knit or crochet brains. Those would make me lose mine, trying to knit or crochet hyperbolically. I didn't even have to look for them, a Geek Knit group had some links one day.

Nothing like star wars fair isle hats or a doctor who scarf to while away the winter. I'd still like to find a pattern for the knit brain purse I've seen online, though.

Cause I have knit for brains . . . . . (*ducks as everyone throws grey yarn at me*)

I had to work ducks in somewhere.

Oh hey Carrie? Get on the waiting list for Ravelry. It's the coolest knit/crochet/fibery goodness online thingie that is cool. There's even a Knitting Nurses group on there.

*Finishes my fibery hi-jacking of the comments; off to go spin s'more BFL wool*

Roy said...

Sara-
Those fair isle hats are wild!

NeoNurseChic said...

Sara,

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll be sure to check it out!! I haven't done any knitting in awhile. Listen, if you're looking for a project, I'd be very happy if you'd like to knit blankets/hats/other stuff for the NICU. My grandma and I have looked into this extensively and she's made me some hats. A friend of mine also made a blanket that somebody paid to donate to me. I realize it can get expensive, so no need to do this if you can't afford it, but if you were looking for a project, then cool! Lemme know, and we can discuss it via email!

Knitting brains sounds like fun!! I should show a pattern for that to my grandma!! I'm still working on the same baby blanket I've been knitting sporadically for a year and a half - I've intended it to go to like 5 different friend's newborns but they keep having the babies and the blanket isn't done! hahaha....

Hugz,
Carrie :)

Sarebear said...

I'll email you Carrie!