Gerben Meynen

Gerben Meynen
Utrecht University | UU

About

153
Publications
23,205
Reads
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1,985
Citations
Citations since 2017
65 Research Items
1109 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
Utrecht University
Position
  • Professor
September 2016 - present
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor
February 2012 - July 2018
Tilburg University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (153)
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, there has been increased academic interest in the human right to freedom of thought (RFoT). Scholars from various disciplines are currently debating the content and scope of this right. In his annual thematic report of 2021, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief paid explicit and comprehensive attention to the...
Article
Full-text available
In the forensic field, most studies employing virtual reality (VR) interventions have focused on offenders. The validity and safety of VR applications for victims of crime are still unclear. Following PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review on VR interventions for crime victims was performed to assess the efficacy, acceptability by patients, and cos...
Chapter
The insanity defense provides the possibility that a defendant who committed a crime is excused because of the presence of a mental illness at the time of the act. Typically, it is not just the presence of a mental disorder, but its specific influence that exculpates a defendant. Even though it may seem intuitive that, at least in some cases, a men...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid developments in evolutionary computation, robotics, 3D-printing, and material science are enabling advanced systems of robots that can autonomously reproduce and evolve. The emerging technology of robot evolution challenges existing AI ethics because the inherent adaptivity, stochasticity, and complexity of evolutionary systems severely weake...
Article
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In de tweede plaats kunnen psychische stoornis-sen gepaard gaan met een veelheid aan gedragsveranderin-gen, waaronder gevaarlijk gedrag ook voor de patiënt zelf. Dat er 'ernstig nadeel' kan ontstaan vanuit een psy-chische stoornis maakt dat er soms ingegrepen wordt tégen iemands wil: dwang en drang. Dergelijk ingrijpen in het leven van mensen botst...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the field of evolutionary robotics, choosing the correct encoding is very complicated, especially when robots evolve both behaviours and morphologies at the same time. With the objective of improving our understanding of the mapping process from encodings to functional robots, we introduce the biological notion of heritability, which captures th...
Article
Full-text available
The current debate on closed-loop brain devices (CBDs) mainly focuses on their use in a medical context; possible criminal justice applications have only received incidental scholarly attention. Unlike in medicine, in criminal justice, CBDs might be offered on behalf of the State and for the purpose of protecting security, rather than realizing hea...
Article
Full-text available
Over 30 million people worldwide have taken a commercial at-home DNA test, because they were interested in their genetic ancestry, disease predisposition or inherited traits. Yet, these consumer DNA data are also increasingly used for a very different purpose: to identify suspects in criminal investigations. By matching a suspect’s DNA with DNA fro...
Article
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A central question in the current neurolegal and neuroethical literature is how brain-reading technologies could contribute to criminal justice. Some of these technologies have already been deployed within different criminal justice systems in Europe, including Slovenia, Italy, England and Wales, and the Netherlands, typically to determine guilt, l...
Article
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Technologieën die de hersenen kunnen 'lezen' en veranderen zijn in opkomst. Deze neurotechnologieën zouden bedrijven en overheden in staat kunnen stellen informatie uit het brein te halen en ook in te grijpen in gedachten en emoties van burgers. In verschillende landen, zoals Chili en Spanje, wordt daarom gewerkt aan de introductie van ‘neurorechte...
Chapter
Are the cognitive sciences relevant for law? How do they influence legal theory and practice? Should lawyers become part-time cognitive scientists? The recent advances in the cognitive sciences have reshaped our conceptions of human decision-making and behavior. Many claim, for instance, that we can no longer view ourselves as purely rational agent...
Book
Full-text available
This edited book provides an in-depth examination of the implications of neuroscience for the criminal justice system. It draws together experts from across law, neuroscience, medicine, psychology, criminology, and ethics, and offers an important contribution to current debates at the intersection of these fields. It examines how neuroscience might...
Chapter
Whereas brain-reading technologies could, in principle, strengthen forensic psychiatric evaluations, deploying brain-reading in this context also raises fundamental, interwoven ethical and legal questions. Although both in ethics and in the law similar questions arise in this respect, the legal and ethical debates tend to be separated from each oth...
Article
Full-text available
Extended Reality (XR) systems, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), provide a digital simulation either of a complete environment, or of particular objects within the real world. Today, XR is used in a wide variety of settings, including gaming, design, engineering, and the military. In addition, XR has been introduced into psyc...
Preprint
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Forthcoming in Ienca, M., Pollicino, O., Liguori L., Andorno R., Stefanini E. eds, Cambridge Handbook of Information Technology, Life Sciences and Human Rights (Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 2021).
Article
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This article provides a discussion about criminal insanity regulation in Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, with a focus on the roles of legislators, judges and experts in the concretisation of the legal meaning of criminal insanity. The authors recognise that these three countries reflect different ideal type rule constructions that are interesti...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Patients with OCD differ markedly from one another in both number and kind of comorbid disorders. In this study, we set out to identify and characterize homogeneous subgroups of OCD patients based on their comorbidity profile. Methods In a cohort of 419 adult subjects with OCD, the lifetime presence of fifteen comorbid disorders was asse...
Article
In this paper we aim to offer a balanced argument to motivate (re)thinking about the mental illness clause within the insanity defence. This is the clause that states that mental illness should have a relevant causal or explanatory role for the presence of the incapacities or limited capacities that are covered by this defence. We offer three main...
Article
Many legal systems have an insanity defense, which means that although a person has committed a crime, she is not held criminally responsible for the act. A challenge with regard to these assessments is that forensic psychiatrists have to rely to a considerable extent on the defendant's self-report. Could neuroscience be a way to make these evaluat...
Article
Millions of human biological samples are stored worldwide for medical research or treatment purposes. These biospecimens are of enormous potential value to law enforcement as DNA profiles can be obtained from these samples. However, forensic use of such biospecimens raises a number of ethical questions. This article aims to explore ethical issues o...
Preprint
Full-text available
The current debate on closed-loop brain devices (CBDs) focuses on their use in a medical context; possible criminal justice applications have not received scholarly attention. Unlike in medicine, in criminal justice, CBDs might be offered on behalf of the State and for the purpose of protecting security, rather than realising healthcare aims. It wo...
Article
Full-text available
Advances in the use of neuroimaging in combination with A.I., and specifically the use of machine learning techniques, have led to the development of brain-reading technologies which, in the nearby future, could have many applications, such as lie detection, neuromarketing or brain-computer interfaces. Some of these could, in principle, also be use...
Article
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Kenmerkend voor het huidige tijdsgewricht is dat incidenten in de sfeer van de tenuitvoerlegging van strafrechtelijke sancties, de politiek lijken te verplichten tot het nemen van onmiddellijke (wettelijke) maatregelen. De discussie hierover raakt direct aan zwaarwegende belangen, van gedetineerden, tbs-gestelden, slachtoffers en van de maatschappi...
Article
Background: The constructivist position is often used for psychiatric diseases, in contrast with the general medical view. In the medical view a biological substrate is decisive for a classification as 'disease', which is not the case in the constructivist position. AIM: We investigate how both positions relate to each other in psychiatric disease...
Article
Full-text available
Insanity definition and the threshold for satisfying its legal criteria tend to vary depending on the jurisdictions. Yet, in Western countries, the legal standards for insanity often rely on the presence of cognitive and/or volitional impairment of the defendant at crime time. Despite some efforts having been made to guide and structure criminal re...
Article
Modern legal systems typically link the insanity or diminished responsibility of an offender for a crime committed in the past to his future dangerousness. This nexus serves across legal systems as a justification for the indeterminate commitment of the offender with diminished or no criminal responsibility. Conceptually, however, insanity and risk...
Article
Background: Forensic psychiatric practices and provisions vary considerably across jurisdictions. The diversity provides the possibility to compare forensic psychiatric practices, as we will do in this paper regarding Italy and the Netherlands. Aim: We aim to perform a theoretical analysis of legislations dealing with the forensic psychiatric ev...
Article
Full-text available
Prison is by its nature a deliberately impoverished environment, with few physical, mental and social activities. Various studies have shown negative effects of an impoverished environment on animal as well as human brain functions. A recent study in a Dutch remand prison showed that brain functions connected with self-regulation decline after 3 mo...
Article
Emerging virtual reality systems offer intriguing therapeutic possibilities, but their development and use should be guided by ethical priorities that account for the specific vulnerabilities of patients.
Article
Full-text available
Als verdachten weigeren mee te werken aan het onderzoek pro Justitia kunnen gedragsdeskundigen soms geen stoornis vaststellen, hetgeen aan tbs-oplegging in de weg kan staan. Dit acht de Minister voor Rechtsbescherming onwenselijk en hij wil in de wet expliciteren dat voor tbs-oplegging een juridisch stoornis concept geldt, dat ruimer is dan het med...
Book
Wat is onderscheidend aan de forensische psychiatrie? Dit eerste Leerboek forensische psychiatrie is tot stand gekomen vanuit de vraag wat onderscheidend is aan de forensische psychiatrie. Het gaat daarbij in elk geval om een viertal aspecten, die elkaar niet uitsluiten, sterker nog: die elkaar in belangrijke mate kunnen overlappen. - Omdat forensi...
Article
Full-text available
When it becomes available, neuroscience-based apprehension of subjective thoughts is bound to have a profound impact on several areas of society. One of these areas is medicine. In principle, medical specialties that are primarily concerned with mind and brain are most likely to apply neurotechnological thought apprehension (NTA) techniques. Psychi...
Article
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Article
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Background The aim of this study was to explore perceptions of free will in the repetitive behaviors of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and to explore their relation with core clinical characteristics. Methods Experiences of free will were assessed with the Symptomatology And Perceived Free will rating scale (SAPF) in 295 subject...
Article
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Recent neuropsychologisch onderzoek suggereert dat detentie leidt tot achteruitgang van belangrijke hersenfuncties bij gedetineerden. Een mogelijke verklaring voor die achteruitgang is de verarmde (versoberde) detentieomgeving, waarmee een omgeving met weinig lichamelijke, geestelijke en sociale activiteit wordt bedoeld. Verschillende hersenfunctie...
Article
Neuroscience produces a wealth of data on the relationship between brain and behavior, including criminal behavior. The research field studying the possible and actual impact of neuroscience on the law and legal practices, is called neurolaw. It is a new and rapidly developing domain of interdisciplinary research. Since forensic psychiatryhas to do...
Article
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Background: Prison can be characterized as an impoverished environment encouraging a sedentary lifestyle with limited autonomy and social interaction, which may negatively affect self-control and executive function. Here, we aim to study the effects of imprisonment on self-control and executive functions, and we report the change in neuropsychologi...
Article
Full-text available
Het Gerechtshof Den Haag heeft op 16 maart 2017 uitspraak gedaan in de zaak Bart van U. Anders dan de rechtbank acht het hof Van U. niet ontoerekeningsvatbaar. In het arrest formuleert het hof een criterium voor ontoerekeningsvatbaarheid dat het Nederlands strafrecht voorheen niet kende. In deze bijdrage wordt het door het hof ontwikkelde criterium...
Research
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Article
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Legal insanity is a peculiar element of criminal law, because it brings together two very different disciplines: psychiatry and psychology on the one hand and the law on the other. One of the basic questions regarding evaluations of defendants concerns the question of who should establish “true mental disorder,” the judge or the behavioral expert?...
Article
One of the areas in which brain-based mind reading (BMR) may be applied is forensic psychiatry. The purpose of this paper is to identify opportunities and challenges for forensic psychiatry regarding BMR. In order to do so, a conceptual framework for BMR will be introduced, which distinguishes between three basic types of BMR, based on how they rel...
Article
Most people perceive that their actions arise from their own ‘free will’, commonly defined as the ability to choose how to act.1 Neurological disorders, such as epileptic seizures and movement disorders, are often regarded as conditions in which free will is undermined.2 Clinically, an action is considered involuntary when it is automatically perfo...
Article
Background A growing body of neuropsychological and neurobiological research shows a relationship between functioning of the prefrontal cortex and criminal and violent behaviour. The prefrontal cortex is crucial for executive functions such as inhibition, attention, working memory, set-shifting and planning. A deficit in these functions – a prefron...
Article
Full-text available
Free will has often been considered central to criminal responsibility. Yet, the concept of free will is also difficult to define and operationalize, and, moreover, it is intensely debated. In particular, the very existence of free will has been denied based on recent neuroscience findings. This debate has significant implications on those fields i...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In criminal law, increased interest is being shown in brain disorders, cognitive impairment and neuroimaging, particularly in connection with pre-trial reports. In a number of cases the contribution made by neuropsychology to the forensic diagnosis is considerable, and there is a need for further clarification. AIM: To clarify the rele...
Chapter
In this chapter, we further explore the grounds for legal insanity, using two partially related approaches to the impact mental disorders have on a defendant’s responsibility. The link between the approaches is that decision-making is central to both of them.
Chapter
Neuroscience produces an inconceivable amount of data on brain correlates of mental functioning. Mental functioning is a concern of many different disciplines, including criminal law.
Chapter
What is so special about mental disorders that they can exculpate defendants? This chapter considers two classic answers to this fundamental question: free will and rationality. The answers are theoretical in nature, transcending the context and boundaries of individual jurisdictions and their standards for insanity. This is what makes these answer...
Chapter
The variety of ways in which the moral notion that mental disorders may exculpate a defendant is reflected in criminal law, is impressive. In this chapter, several legal insanity standards are considered: the M’Naghten Rule, the irresistible impulse test, the Model Penal Code standard, the Durham Rule (also known as the product test), the Norwegian...
Chapter
Although the insanity defense is an element of many legal systems, there continue to be debates about whether it should be part of a legal system at all. In fact, “many prominent scholars have advocated abolition” of the defense. Various arguments can be formulated against it. In this chapter, such arguments are considered and responses offered. Ev...
Chapter
Legal insanity is an intensely debated element of criminal law. Not just the insanity defense as such has been challenged, but also its components and related issues have given rise to numerous controversies and arguments. Lawyers, psychologists, psychiatrists, ethicists, and, increasingly, neuroscientists are participating in these debates.
Chapter
Legal insanity touches upon many fascinating theoretical issues, such as free will and brain determinism, but it ultimately concerns a practical forensic psychiatric and legal matter. In this chapter, we explore the issues to be considered when evaluating, revising, or introducing insanity to a legal system. The crucial argument in favor of legal i...
Book
http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-44721-6 This book examines core issues related to legal insanity, integrating perspectives from psychiatry, law, and ethics. Various criteria for insanity are analyzed and recommendations for forensic psychiatric and legal practice are offered. Many legal systems have an insanity defense, in one form...
Article
Full-text available
Background: So far, it is not known what costs and benefits are connected with the tbs-measure, a measure that involves a mandatory treatment programme for forensic psychiatric patients. AIM: To explore the costs and benefits that the tbs-measure has on society, on other important stakeholders such as victims and/or next-of-kin and the forensic ps...
Article
Full-text available
http://www.tijdschriftvoorpsychiatrie.nl/assets/articles/58-2016-10-artikel-schoevers.pdf
Article
We thank the commentators very much for their reaction to our article.1 We appreciate the theoretical issues they raised concerning the approaches to competence, as well as their discussion of the cases we have presented. In some cases of mental illness, for example, in severe dementia or paranoid delusions, the line between competence and incompe...
Article
The concept of competence is central to healthcare because informed consent can only be obtained from a competent patient. The standard approach to competence focuses on cognitive abilities. Several authors have challenged this approach by emphasising the role of emotions and values. Combining cognition, emotion and values, we suggest an approach w...
Chapter
Mental disorders can excuse a person for performing a harmful action. Consider a depressed mother who neglects her duties as a parent. We may excuse her for neglecting her children because of her psychiatric condition. Such an ethical response is widespread, and it is also reflected in criminal law, via the insanity defense. Diminished guilt due to...
Article
Full-text available
A 40-year-old schoolteacher begins secretly collecting child pornography and making advances toward his young stepdaughter.1 After evaluation by a psychiatrist and neurologist, an MRI is obtained, and it shows a huge orbitofrontal tumour. As soon as it has been resected, the legally relevant sexual behaviour stops. A few months later, however, the...
Article
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Background For many decades, the debate on children’s competence to give informed consent in medical settings concentrated on ethical and legal aspects, with little empirical underpinnings. Recently, data from empirical research became available to advance the discussion. It was shown that children’s competence to consent to clinical research could...
Article
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Background: The high prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity is usually considered to be a problematic artefact of the DSM. Clinicians appear to be reluctant to register comorbid diagnoses. Aim: To provide insight into the concept of 'psychiatric comorbidity', so that the phenomenon can be dealt with more efficiently in clinical practice. Method:...
Chapter
Mental disorders have a special characteristic: they may directly affect a person’s will. For instance, some hallucinations take the form of commanding voices that the person cannot but obey. Depending on their content, these hallucinations may not only affect a person’s decisionmaking but result in harmful actions as well. In criminal cases, the i...
Article
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Background: Executive dysfunction appears to be related to increased recidivism. Of note is that sleep disturbances, which are highly prevalent in prisons, may attenuate executive functions. Thus, improving executive functions, either directly or indirectly through the improvement of sleep, may reduce recidivism. It is hypothesised that physical ex...
Article
A recent governmental report has suggested that the notion of insanity, which has not been a relevant concept in Swedish criminal law for the last 50years, should be reintroduced into the criminal justice system. This move has generated a debate over the most appropriate criteria to be included in a legal standard for insanity. We consider the fund...
Article
Full-text available
A better understanding of the functioning of the brain, particularly executive functions, of the prison population could aid in reducing crime rates through the reduction of recidivism rates. Indeed, reoffending appears to be related to executive dysfunction and it is known that executive functions are crucial for self-regulation. In the current pa...
Article
Full-text available
Neurolaw is a new interdisciplinary area of research which investigates, from different perspectives, the significance of the neurosciences for law. AIM: To clarify the relevance of neurolaw for forensic psychiatry. METHOD: The importance of neurolaw developments for forensic psychiatry was analysed on the basis of recent literature. RESULTS: Some...
Article
Neurolaw is a new, rapidly developing area of interdisciplinary research on the meaning and implications of neuroscience for the law and legal practices. In this article three recently published volumes in this field will be reviewed.
Article
Patient competence, defined as the ability to reason, appreciate, understand, and express a choice is rarely discussed in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and coercive measures are seldom used. Nevertheless, a psychiatrist of psychologist may doubt whether OCD patients who refuse treatment understand their disease and the conseque...
Chapter
The view that mental disorders can excuse a person for a particular action is widespread. It is supported by psychiatrists, ethicists and lawyers and is reflected in criminal law, via the insanity defence. It remains a matter of debate, however, exactly how mental disorders affect a person’s moral responsibility. The purpose of this paper is to dev...

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Projects (5)
Project
"Sancties" is hèt Nederlandstalige tijdschrift dat specifiek gewijd is aan (de tenuitvoerlegging van) straffen en maatregelen. Als redactiesecretaris maak ik van elk nummer een signalering / korte inhoudsbeschrijving; ik wil die voortaan ook hier plaatsen (zie het project-log). Daarnaast onderhoud ik contacten met (potentiële) auteurs en help ik hen door ingestuurde kopij te redigeren. Neem vooral contact op als je geïnteresseerd bent om iets te publiceren in Sancties of als je meer informatie wilt naar aanleiding van een van de inhoudsopgaven. Sancties is een uitgave van Wolters Kluwer. Het blad verschijnt zes maal per jaar op papier en in digitale vorm. Lezers zijn juristen, criminologen, psychologen en andere geïnteresseerden die werkzaam zijn in de praktijk van rechtshulp, gevangeniswezen, jeugdinrichtingen, forensische zorg, regelgeving en rechtspraak, en in de wetenschap, de politiek en andere maatschappelijke organisaties. De artikelen die in Sancties verschijnen zijn voor medewerkers van de Rijksoverheid in brede zin (dus inclusief Rechtspraak, OM, DJI en politie) en voor medewerkers / studenten van de meeste universiteiten toegankelijk als onderdeel van collectieve abonnementen (via www.legalintelligence.com of www.navigator.nl). Meer informatie: www.wolterskluwer.nl/shop. Via een proefabonnement zijn ze gedurende 30 dagen voor alle belangstellenden toegankelijk. Zie: shop.wolterskluwer.nl/proefabonnementen/navigator-proefabonnement/ De redactie van Sancties bestaat uit: S. (Sanne) Struijk (voorzitter) J.P. (Jeppe) Balkema B.H. (Erik) Bulten M.M. (Max) Kommer (secretaris) S. (Sonja) Meijer G. (Gerben) Meynen E. (Elanie) Rodermond P.C. (Paul) Vegter
Project
Neurotechnology could help reduce recidivism and make society safer. But these techniques – in which the brains of offenders may even be changed – entail considerable risks, for instance for a person’s bodily and mental integrity. How can they be applied responsibly?
Project
This project aims to identify the possibilities and limits of coercive forensic brain-reading in view of human rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.