Monetizing Memory Science: Neuroscience and the Future of PTSD Litigation

Francis X Shen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the possible effects of new neuroscientific evidence on civil recovery and damage awards for emotional injuries in the American tort system. The chapter presents new experimental evidence suggesting that neuroscientific evidence of PTSD, so long as it is contested in court, is not likely to lead to greater monetary awards from juries. But the experimental results also suggest that cognitive neuroscience may challenge existing legal distinctions between "bodily" and "mental" injury. How novel neuroscientific evidence is translated into statutory law and policy may thus have significant ramifications for civil recovery. Neuroscience research, if utilized by both sides, may have a net neutral effect on PTSD litigation. But if one side, or even one litigator, moves quickly and moves first, there may be significant gains to be realized from monetizing memory science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMemory and Law
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199950133
ISBN (Print)9780199920754
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013


  • Brain
  • Civil damages
  • Jury
  • Law and neuroscience
  • Memory
  • Neurolaw
  • pTSD


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