Neuropsychology and Law
Full course description
Most of this course pertains to neurocognitive processes of criminal offenders. Contextual factors, such as the history and current state of neuropsychology and psychiatry will be discussed to give students the desired background knowledge of this topic. A considerable part of the course is devoted to neuropsychological abnormalities in offenders who are affected by a psychiatric disorder. Another substantial part of the course pertains to offenders with acquired brain injury. The connection between neural abnormalities and criminal offences will be critically evaluated for each psychiatric or neurological disorder. A completely different side of neuropsychology and law, the effect of neurocognitive disorders in victims/witnesses of crimes on their eyewitness testimony, will also be dealt with.
After this course, students will have knowledge of psychiatric and neurological disorders that predispose to criminal offences. They will be able to appreciate the role of ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ in violent behaviour, and will understand problems associated with witnesses who have brain disorders.