Memories Imaged and Imagined: How the Science of Memory Will Challenge the Law

Friday, 13 February 2015: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL20A (San Jose Convention Center)
Memory is often at issue in crucial ways in the legal system. Memories and their credibility can be the difference between victory and defeat, guilt and innocence, and sometimes, in some countries, between life and death. Advances in neuroscience are rapidly expanding our understanding of the science of memory, using neuroimaging and other techniques. These new understandings of memory, and new ways of testing memory, will challenge some of the ways the law has traditionally viewed, used, and misused memory. We already saw this several years ago with the scandalous admission of “repressed memory” evidence in some notable child sexual abuse trials. But the science, aided by rapid advances in imaging technologies, is providing new insights. The law needs to consider the science, but the scientists also need to understand what science the law will find useful, and why. This symposium will set out some of our new knowledge of memory -- how it can be formed, stored, detected, modified, and even falsified. Neuroscientists will describe some of these new discoveries and legal scholars will point out the possible consequences for the legal system. The symposium will feature an extended period for discussion. The goal is not to provide all the answers but to help start the interdisciplinary conversations societies will need to make good use, and avoid misuse, of the new science of memory.
Henry Greely, Stanford University Law School
Nita Farahany, Duke University
Henry Greely, Stanford University Law School
Elizabeth Loftus, University of California
The New Science of Memory: An Overview
Jack Gallant, University of California
Neuroimaging: Seeing Memories
Felipe de Brigard, Duke University
Memory and Reality
Nita Farahany, Duke University
Remembering and Forgetting in Law
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