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Owen D. Jones

Glenn M. Weaver, M.D. and Mary Ellen Weaver Chair in Law, Brain, and Behavior, Law School
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Owen D. Jones has a joint appointment as Professor of Law and Professor of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University, where he holds the Glenn M. Weaver, M.D. and Mary Ellen Weaver Chair in Law, Brain, and Behavior. For over 25 years he has specialized in the intersection of law and behavioral biology. Specifically, he uses methods from brain-imaging (fMRI), evolutionary biology, and behavioral economics to learn more about how the brain’s varied operations affect behaviors relevant to law. Most recently, with four grants from the MacArthur Foundation, totaling over 7.6 million dollars, he designed, created, and directs the national MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience ( The Network partners selected legal scholars and brain scientists at leading universities, including Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Virginia, Cornell, Northwestern, and the University of Pennsylvania, among others, to explore systematically both the promise and the limitations of using new neuroscientific techniques to improve criminal justice. Prof. Jones and his collaborators have published widely in leading neuroscience, biology, and law journals. And he has directed or co-directed more than 50 interdisciplinary academic conferences. In 2015, Jones was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Keywords: behavioral biology; neuroscience; evolutionary analysis in law; neurolaw; law; behavioral economics; cognitive biases