Neuroethics Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

January 2006


This brief diagnostic note identifies a cognitive pathology, "Brain Overclaim Syndrome [BOS]," that often afflicts those inflamed by the fascinating new discoveries in the neurosciences. It begins by suggesting how one should think about the relation of neuroscience (or any other material explanation of human behavior) to criminal responsibility, distinguishing between internal and external critiques based on neuroscience. It then describes the signs and symptoms of BOS, the essential feature of which is to make claims about the implications of neuroscience for criminal responsibility that cannot be conceptually or empirically sustained. It then applies the diagnostic lens of BOS to the claims in Roper v. Simmons. Finally, the article recommends Cognitive Jurotherapy [CJ] as the therapy of choice for BOS.


Postprint version. Published in Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Volume 3, 2006, pages 397-412.


brain overclaim syndrome, neuroscience, criminal responsibility, Roper v. Simmons, cognitive jurotherapy



Date Posted: 05 April 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.