Presented by Dr. Tara White, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences (Research) and the founding director of the Laboratory of Affective Neuroscience at Brown University
Neuroscientist and psychology researcher Tara White proposes that protections provided by international human rights instruments are rooted in fundamental properties of the human brain. The emerging field that she has named dignity neuroscience stems from her and others’ work in human brain science and human emotions. Dr. White proposes a framework that provides an empirical foundation to support and foster human dignity, universal rights, and their active furtherance by individuals, nations, and international law. It incorporates understandings of brain structures involved in agency, autonomy, and self-determination, the harms of privation and maltreatment, and the concept of intrinsic human dignity expressed in longstanding cultural, religious, and philosophical traditions.