Response to: The Selective Allure of Neuroscience and Its Implications for The Courtroom

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type

Response or Comment


Clinical Psychology | Law and Psychology | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


In Selective Allure of Neuroscience and Its Implications for the Courtroom, Shniderman adds to an already long list of reasons for why attorneys and trial consultants should be cautious in using neuroscientific evidence in legal proceedings. Scurich and Shniderman (2014) found that individuals evaluated the scientific validity of neuroscientific evidence based on preexisting beliefs. At first glance, this study might seem like another example of scientists proving a well-known concept that juries and judges bring their individual experiences into the courtroom. In fact, voir dire is premised on identifying individuals with particular types of beliefs that may produce a particular type of verdict. However, on closer examination, the findings from this study highlight a different point – introduction of neuroscientific research may backfire, or in the very least not produce the intended results. And, not knowing how the jury or a judge will interpret a particular type of evidence should be disconcerting to attorneys, legal consultants and experts.


Pivovarova, E. (2014). Response to: The selective appeal of neuroscience and its implications for the courtroom. The Jury Expert, 26:4.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Jury Expert


At the time of publication, Ekaterina Pivovarova was not yet affiliated with theUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School.