Issues that were discussed included:

•Lie detection

•Memory accuracy

•Juror or witness bias

•Mitigating circumstance

•Establish ‘diminished capacity’ to reduce sentencing

•Determine if a prisoner is ‘ready for release


Central to the debate was the frequent misinterpretation of imaging studies. For example, differences in brain activation detected by functional MRI in groups of subjects cannot be deemed to be significant when a single subject is compared to a normal group. Scientific rigour is of paramount importance, especially in a legal setting.

Conclusions were that neuroimagers and lawyers need to work together to understand each other better and that public engagement will be essential to prevent misuse of imaging.