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Memory and Law$
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Lynn Nadel and Walter P. Sinnott-Armstrong

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199920754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199920754.001.0001

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Monetizing Memory Science

Monetizing Memory Science

Neuroscience and the Future of PTSD Litigation

(p.325) 13 Monetizing Memory Science
Memory and Law

Francis X. Shen

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the possible effects of new neuroscientific evidence on civil recovery and damage awards for emotional injuries in the American tort system. The chapter presents new experimental evidence suggesting that neuroscientific evidence of PTSD, so long as it is contested in court, is not likely to lead to greater monetary awards from juries. But the experimental results also suggest that cognitive neuroscience may challenge existing legal distinctions between “bodily” and “mental” injury. How novel neuroscientific evidence is translated into statutory law and policy may thus have significant ramifications for civil recovery. Neuroscience research, if utilized by both sides, may have a net neutral effect on PTSD litigation. But if one side, or even one litigator, moves quickly and moves first, there may be significant gains to be realized from monetizing memory science.

Keywords:   neurolaw, law and neuroscience, pTSD, memory, civil damages, brain, jury

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