September 12-14, 2014 — GSU Student University Center, 44 Courtland Street SE, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA

Modern neuro-interventions hold out the promise of non-invasively but directly, effectively, efficiently, and maybe even permanently altering people’s mental capacities, and this conference will interrogate a range of pertinent questions that this might raise for the law. For instance, how should society regulate the use of such diverse neuro-interventions? What may we legitimately expect of people whose mental capacities have been altered through such neuro-interventions? How should the criminal justice system be permitted to use such techniques to regulate people’s mental capacities to promote or to achieve its own internal aims? How are these techniques currently being used and regulated? Which of these techniques actually work, how do they work, what are their various costs, do they truly help us to achieve what we think or hope they do, and in general what can we learn about our own normative presuppositions by reflecting on neuro-interventions in such contexts?

Headlined participants and keynotes include Senior Judge Andre Davis (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit), Nita Farahany (Duke University), Walter Glannon (University of Calgary), Imogen Goold (University of Oxford), Valerie Hardcastle (University of Cincinnati), Stephen Morse (University of Pennsylvania Law School), Thomas Nadelhoffer (College of Charlston), Justice David Nahmias (Supreme Court of Georgia), Eddy Nahmias (Georgia State University), Chris Ryan (University of Sydney), Francis Shen (University of Minnesota), Katrina Sifferd (Elmhurst College), Nicole A Vincent (Georgia State University & Technische Universiteit Delft), and Paul Root Wolpe (Emory Center for Ethics).


Conference Program

PROGRAMME 201406025 (ver 4)

Click here to download a PDF version of this program, though note that it is still subject to change.


Friday, September 12

12:30-1:15 WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION (Nicole A Vincent)

1:15-2:45 PANEL: Making People Sane Enough for Release

20 minute break


Chris Ryan – The Efficacy of Chemical Castration in Sex Offender Recidivism: Implications For Release abstract
Valerie Hardcastle – Diversion Courts, Traumatic Brain Injury, and American Vets abstract
Jared Craig – Liberty, Security of the Person and Neurointervention for Criminal Psychopathy abstract

5 minute break


Farah Focquaert and Sigrid Sterckx – Offering Neuro-interventions to Offenders with Impaired Moral Functioning abstract
Ekaterina Pivovarova, A. Carroll and J. Buckholtz – Managing Impulsivity: Can Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Help? abstract
Paul Sheldon Davies – What Becomes of Voluntariness As We Intervene in the Functioning of the Human Brain? abstract

5 minute break


Katrina Sifferd – Using Neuro-interventions to Rehabilitate Sex Offenders abstract
Andrea Glenn – Neuro-Interventions in Youth at Risk for Criminal Behavior abstract
Marc Blitz – The Constitution, Compelled Neuro-Intervention, and the Ethical Parity Principle abstract

5 Minute Break


Saturday, September 13

9:00-10:15 KEYNOTE 1: Stephen Morse

20 Minute Break

10:35-12:05 PANEL: Making People Sane Enough for Punishment

5 Minute Break


Bobby Bingle – Enhancing Punishment: Exploring the Effects of Cognitive Enhancement on Retributive Punishment abstract
Ted Blumoff – On Executing Schizophrenics: Identity and the Mythology of “Synthetic” Competency abstract
Rui Vieira da Cunha and Luísa Neto – Compulsory Neuro-Interventions: Metaphysical and Conceptual Foundations of the Subject of Responsibility and Autonomy of Choice abstract

90 minutes for lunch

2:20-3:50 PANEL: Making People Sane Enough for Trial

5 minute break


Christoph Bublitz – Different Interventions into Minds: Means Matter for the Law (and so they should for ethics) abstract
Jessica Gabel – Truth Serum: The Reliability of Psychopharmaceuticals in Criminal Trials abstract
Leonard Kahn – Making Morally-Permissible Punishment Impossible through Neuro-Intervention abstract

20 minute break

4:55-6:10 KEYNOTE 2: Walter Glannon – Prostheses for the Will: The Legal Implications of Neural Prostheses abstract

20 minute break

6:30-8:30 CONFERENCE DINNER, Location TBA

Sunday, September 14

9:00-10:30 PANEL: Cognitive Enhancement

20 minute break


Thomas Nadelhoffer and Jen Wright – Enhancement, the Self, and the Lottery of Life abstract
Felipe De Brigard – TBA abstract

90 minutes for lunch


Yaniv Heled – A Legal Framework for Approval and Access to Neuro-Enhancing Chemicals abstract
Alexandre Erler – Pharmacological “Cognitive Enhancement” and the Ethics of Manipulating Motivation abstract
Veljko Dubljević – The Rising Tide of tDCS in the Media and Academic Literature abstract

5 minute break


Patrick Hopkins and Harvey Fiser – A Pill Is Required For This Job: Neuro-Interventions for Employee Performance and Management abstract
Brandon Boesch – Law, Human Goods, and Cognitive Enhancement abstract
Laura Cabrera – Criminal Behavior and the Ethics of Memory Modification abstract

5 minute break
2:30-3:45 KEYNOTE 3: Nita Farahany

Registration and Sponsors

Thanks to generous financial support from sponsors (see below), attendance is free of charge, but registration is essential since places are limited. Registrations will open via Eventbrite on Monday, July 7th.

Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, University of Minnesota
Georgia State University
Department of Philosophy, Georgia State University
Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University
Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics, Georgia State University
Emory Center for Ethics, Emory University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Phi Sigma Tau, Georgia State University


FAQ and Publications

Questions? Please check our FAQ page first. A selection of presenters will be invited to contribute a chapter towards a peer-reviewed inter-disciplinary book that will be published in mid-2015. Chapters of high quality will be included in a submission to OUP for an edited collection in the series in Neuroscience, Law, and Philosophy. To ensure timeliness of publication, we request that authors interested in this project (a) let us know, and (b) plan to have a written draft of their paper ready by November 1, 2014.