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The Impact of Behavioral Sciences on Criminal Law$
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Nita A. Farahany

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340525

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340525.001.0001

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The Developmental Neuroscience of Criminal Behavior

The Developmental Neuroscience of Criminal Behavior

Chapter:
(p.81) 3 The Developmental Neuroscience of Criminal Behavior
Source:
The Impact of Behavioral Sciences on Criminal Law
Author(s):

Abigail A. Baird

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195340525.003.0003

This chapter explores how cognition and emotion work together synergistically to produce predictable behavior, independent of its utility. It shows that in high-stakes situations, emotional response (whether automatic or cognitively mediated) ultimately drives behavior. A developmental model is presented to elucidate the ways in which maturation of the human brain supports the development of a coordinated relationship between emotional and cognitive processes—a relationship whose integrity is critical to the production of behavior in accordance with personally or socially mandated standards. Conditions under which emotion and cognition are less synchronized, such as in situations of high psychological stress and in cases involving specific neuropsychological disorders, are offered as additional support for this model. Finally, the implications for legal scholarship and policy are discussed.

Keywords:   cognition, emotion, human behavior, emotional response, predictable behavior

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