BJ Casey is a professor of psychology and member of the Justice Collaboratory at the Yale Law School and of the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program at Yale University. Before moving to Yale, Dr. Casey directed the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology for over 12 years and an international summer institute on developmental neuroscience for over 15 years at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Dr. Casey pioneered the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the developing human brain, particularly during adolescence, accelerating the emerging field of developmental cognitive neuroscience. Her scientific discoveries led to the prominent circuit-based account of adolescent behavior known as the imbalance model, a foundational theory for many developmental neuroscience studies in humans and in animals. This model posits that hierarchical and dynamic changes in brain circuitry and function during adolescence lead to transient imbalances in how brain networks communicate that differentially impact self-control during adolescence, relative to earlier and later developmental stages. This work informs how we treat the developing versus developed brain in law and in medicine.
Dr. Casey has served on the NIMH Board of Scientific Counselors and NIMH Advisory Council, the National Research Council Board of Children, Youth and Families, and National Research Council and Institute of Medicine committees of the National Academy on the Science of Adolescent Risk Taking, Assessing Juvenile Justice Reform, and Sports Related Concussions in Youth. Her work has been cited in numerous amicus briefs presented to the U.S. Supreme Court on the sentencing of young people. She has presented to congressional staff on Capitol Hill, state supreme courts, and federal judges on the adolescent brain.
Dr. Casey received a B.A. in psychology from Appalachian State University and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from University of South Carolina. She is committed to teaching and outreach.