Cognitive Enhancement in Courts

Anders Sandberg, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Julian Savulescu

in Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199570706
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Cognitive Enhancement in Courts

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
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Human cognitive performance has crucial significance for legal process, often creating the difference between fair and unfair imprisonment. Lawyers, judges, and jurors need to follow long and complex arguments. They need to understand technical language. Jurors need to remember what happens during a long trial. The demands imposed on jurors in particular are sizeable and the cognitive challenges are discussed in this chapter. Jurors are often subjected to both tremendous decision complexity and tremendous evidence complexity. Some of these problems could be ameliorated if we can somehow enhance the cognitive capacities, including attention and memory, of various players in trials. There are multiple ways in which cognition can be improved either by external tools or by an increasing number of biomedical interventions that act directly on the brain. The article surveys a range of beneficial and detrimental effects that substances can have on cognition.

Keywords: cognitive performance; cognitive challenges; jurors; decision complexity; external tools

Article.  5195 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Clinical Psychology

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