NOTE: SCANNING THE EVIDENCE: THE EVIDENTIARY ADMISSIBILITY OF EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY ON MRI BRAIN SCANS IN CIVIL CASES IN THE POST-DAUBERT ERA Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2015 New York University Annual Survey of American Law
New York University Annual Survey of American Law

NOTE: SCANNING THE EVIDENCE: THE EVIDENTIARY ADMISSIBILITY OF EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY ON MRI BRAIN SCANS IN CIVIL CASES IN THE POST-DAUBERT ERA

2015

New York University Annual Survey of American Law

70 N.Y.U. Ann. Surv. Am. L. 479

Author

CHRISTINA T. LIU*

Excerpt



INTRODUCTION
 
Neuroscience is in the middle of a revolution, and scientific knowledge of how the human brain develops, functions, and reacts is increasing every day. 1 We know "almost infinitely more" about how the brain works today than we did thirty years ago, and yet we know "almost nothing" in comparison to what the field of neuroscience will likely know in thirty years. 2 Scientific and technological advances have immeasurably increased our ability to observe the brain's neurological function and mental processing. 3 The dominant type of neuroimaging technology is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is used to produce detailed visualizations of the brain's structure and to compare aspects of brain activity. 4

In the wake of these neuroscience developments, courtrooms across the country have started seeing neuroimaging evidence in the form of MRI scans of head injuries and brain activity used in all types of criminal 5 and civil 6 litigation. The growing use of MRI brain scans in litigation has been widely discussed in the academic literature. Many legal scholars have written extensively about MRI-based neuroimaging and the practical, 7 constitutional, 8 and legislative policy 9 implications for litigation and legal practice. In addition several articles have discussed the evidentiary uses of MRI brain scans as interrogation techniques 10 and lie detection tools, 11 forensic evidence, 12 evidence of mental state 13 and culpability, 14 and evidence of mitigating factors during sentencing. 15

MRI brain scans can be difficult for juries to read or understand, so litigants who ...
 
 
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