Memory in the Courtroom: Fixed, Fallible, or Fleeting?

  1. Here, Dick Lehr sets the stage for a discussion of memory in the courtroom with a case of eyewitness misidentification with which he had first-hand experience.

    Part of "Memory in the Courtroom: Fixed, Fallible or Fleeting?"
    A symposium sponsored by the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior
    January 31, 2013 | Joseph B. Martin Amphitheater | Harvard Medical School

    Dick Lehr is a veteran journalist and author who worked for nearly two decades
    at The Boston Globe, where he was primarily an investigative reporter but also
    served as a magazine, legal affairs and feature writer. He has won numerous
    national and regional journalism and book awards, and was a Pulitzer Prize
    finalist in investigative reporting. He is the author of The Fence: A Police
    Cover-up Along Boston’s Racial Divide, and co-author of Judgment Ridge:
    The True Story Behind the Dartmouth Murders; Black Mass: The Irish Mob,
    The FBI and a Devil’s Deal; and The Underboss: the Rise and Fall of a Mafia
    Family. Lehr is a Professor of Journalism at Boston University’s College of
    Communication. He received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from
    University of Connecticut School of Law and was a John S. Knight Journalism
    Fellow at Stanford University and a Visiting Journalist at Brandeis University’s
    School of Journalism.

    # vimeo.com/62264695 Uploaded 298 Plays 0 Comments
  2. "Memory and the Law: What Can Cognitive Neuroscience Contribute?"

    Daniel Schacter, Ph.D.
    William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology
    Harvard University

    Part of "Memory in the Courtroom: Fixed, Fallible or Fleeting?"
    A symposium sponsored by the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior
    January 31, 2013 | Joseph B. Martin Amphitheater | Harvard Medical School

    -------------------------------
    Daniel L. Schacter, Ph.D., is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in Harvard
    University's Department of Psychology, where his research interests center on
    cognitive and neuropsychological analyses of memory, amnesia, and
    consciousness, with particular emphasis on brain mechanisms of memory
    distortion and how memory is used to imagine future events. He is also
    interested in applying basic research findings concerning memory to everyday
    life. Schacter is the author of several books: Stranger Behind the Engram:
    Theories of Memory and the Psychology of Science (1982); Searching for
    Memory: The Brain, the Mind, and the Past (1996); and The Seven Sins of
    Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers (2001); and has published in
    many journals as well. Schacter is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts
    and Sciences and a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial
    Fellowship and the American Psychological Association's Award for
    Distinguished Scientific Contributions (2012). He has propelled the field of
    cognitive neuroscience, first through studies of patients suffering anterograde
    amnesia and subsequently through functional brain imaging studies.

    # vimeo.com/62203468 Uploaded 611 Plays 0 Comments
  3. "Role of Memory Reconsolidation"

    Roger K. Pitman, M.D.
    Professor of Psychiatry
    Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

    Part of "Memory in the Courtroom: Fixed, Fallible or Fleeting?"
    A symposium sponsored by the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior
    January 31, 2013 | Joseph B. Martin Amphitheater | Harvard Medical School

    --------------------------------
    Roger K. Pitman, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School,
    Director of the MGH Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Research Laboratory,
    and an internationally recognized academic researcher, teacher, and
    clinician. He is the recipient of the International Society for Traumatic Stress
    Studies’ Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in the field of PTSD and
    its Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Pitman’s research into the psychobiology of
    PTSD spans 30 years. He has 250 publications in the general psychiatric and
    medical literature, including 150 publications on PTSD. His research has
    included psychophysiology, structural and functional neuroimaging, and the
    study of identical twins discordant for combat exposure. His current major
    research interest is whether medications administered at the time of traumatic
    memory reactivation can weaken such memories through reconsolidation
    blockade, which represents a potential novel treatment for PTSD.

    # vimeo.com/62345759 Uploaded 665 Plays 0 Comments
  4. Part of "Memory in the Courtroom: Fixed, Fallible or Fleeting?"
    A symposium sponsored by the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior
    January 31, 2013 | Joseph B. Martin Amphitheater | Harvard Medical School

    ---------------------
    Judge Nancy Gertner is a graduate of Barnard College and of Yale Law
    School, where she was an editor on The Yale Law Journal; she received her
    M.A. in Political Science from Yale University. She was appointed to the bench
    in 1994 by President Clinton, serving the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts.
    In 2008, she received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar
    Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, only the second
    woman to do so (Justice Ginsburg was the first). That same year, Gertner
    became a Leadership Council Member of the International Center for Research
    on Women. In 2010, she received the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial
    Service Award, and in 2011, the Massachusetts Bar Association's Hennessey
    award for judicial excellence, as well as an honorary Doctor of Laws degree
    from Brandeis University. Gertner has written and spoken widely on various
    legal issues and has appeared throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia as a
    keynote speaker, panelist, or lecturer on topics including civil rights, civil
    liberties, employment, criminal justice, and procedural issues. She has
    published articles and chapters on sentencing, discrimination, forensic
    evidence, women's rights, and the jury system. Her autobiography, In Defense
    of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate, was released in 2011.

    # vimeo.com/62345758 Uploaded 196 Plays 0 Comments
  5. Harvard Psychologist Daniel Schacter, MGH Psychiatrist Roger Pitman, and Harvard Law Professor and Retired Judge Nancy Gertner discuss the changing science of memory and its implications for the court in an interdisciplinary panel at Harvard Medical School on January 31, 2013. Moderated by CLBB Co-Director Judy Edersheim.

    Part of "Memory in the Courtroom: Fixed, Fallible or Fleeting?"
    A symposium sponsored by the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior
    January 31, 2013 | Joseph B. Martin Amphitheater | Harvard Medical School

    # vimeo.com/63091039 Uploaded 370 Plays 0 Comments

Memory in the Courtroom: Fixed, Fallible, or Fleeting?

On January 31, the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior hosted an evening event at Harvard Medical School on the changing science of memory and its implications for the court. Experts in the neuroscience of memory distortion, post-traumatic stress, and…


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On January 31, the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior hosted an evening event at Harvard Medical School on the changing science of memory and its implications for the court. Experts in the neuroscience of memory distortion, post-traumatic stress, and the laws of evidence discussed the complicated use of memory in the courtroom. CLBB co-director Judith Edersheim moderated an interdisciplinary discussion following remarks from each speaker.

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