Neurolaw #SFN11

Yesterday’s big show was the Neuroscience and the Law symposium. Here is a good summary. Most interesting work was Abigail Baird’s–she’s at Vassar College: teenagers apparently get themselves in trouble by too much engagement of their prefrontal cortex rather than trusting their gut (amygdala and insula). That’s completely counter-intuitive to me because I have always viewed the prefrontal cortex as pretty much the last part of the brain to “get wired up” during human development. Her thesis: too much analytic/executive engagement of prefrontal cortex leads to potentially flawed logical decisions (perhaps especially when we haven’t had a lot of experiences) and too much sensitivity to peer pressure.