The directors of the Center for the Law Brain and Behavior have mapped out a sound methodology for approaching the introduction of concepts about brain function and behavior into the courtroom. The central tenets of their early collaboration are as follows:
-- Use only sound, reliable and replicable neuroscientific findings in the courtroom
-- Use only scientific findings that are supported by multiple collateral psychiatric and neurological measures
-- Be mindful of the historical pattern of overvaluing early scientific evidence in legal settings
-- Reject premature assertions of cause and effect between brain structures and functions
This conceptual framework has provided a model for the research, teaching and clinical activities of the Center.
During the first three years of the Center's operation, the faculty and staff will undertake projects within three over-arching domains. Individual projects will be directly supervised by Dr. Edersheim and Dr. Price. Dr. Edersheim and additional attending level physicians from the Department of Psychiatry will provide continuous staffing for each of the three major projects. Rotating Psychiatry Residents will have the opportunity for longitudinal participation in the clinical and research efforts of that project. Similarly, Dr. Price and additional faculty from the Department of Neurology will provide continuous staffing for designated projects undertaken during the first three years. Behavioral Neurology fellows will have the opportunity for longitudinal participation in the clinical and research efforts of that project.
The Center staff will meet on a regular basis for progress conferences with respect to their specific projects. Research meetings will be held monthly with all Center staff. In addition, fellows from every subspecialty section will meet in a journal club format to promote training across disciplines and critical review of current medical and legal literature. The Center Directors have established a research relationship with a Harvard University based academic neuroimaging team in order to integrate neuroimaging applications into the development of evaluation guidelines and the development of neuropsychological instruments (See Scientific Advisory Board of Directors).