Federica Coppola

Federica Coppola is a criminal lawyer specializing in neurolaw. Federica investigates how findings from social and affective neuroscience might be used to reform criminal law and justice. She plans to utilize neuroscientific insights into emotions and prosocial behavior to inform changes in criminal law doctrines, theories of punishment and correctional interventions, with a special focus on perpetrators with histories of violence.

Federica earned a JD summa cum laude from University of Bologna Law School in 2010 and an LLM in Comparative, European, and International Laws from the European University Institute in 2014 before pursuing her PhD. Federica received a PhD in law from the European University Institute in 2017. In her doctoral dissertation, she developed a general theory of culpability informed by neuroscientific insights into emotions, moral decision-making and antisocial behavior. In 2016, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and at the Penn Center for Neuroscience and Society. She has been a lecturer at the School of Law and Neuroscience at the University of Pavia, as well as a guest lecturer in criminology at the University of Passau Law School. Federica completed the PSSN program in June 2020 and continues to work on her upcoming book, The Emotional Brain and the Guilty Mind: Novel Paradigms of Culpability and Punishment, which will be published in 2021. 

Federica is the 2017 Robert A. Burt Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience.

Project Title

Reinventing Criminal Justice with Social and Affective Neuroscience

Paul Appelbaum 
Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Law, Columbia University

Geraldine Downey
Robert Johnston Niven Professor of Humane Letters in Psychology, Columbia University

Jeffrey Fagan
Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University

Criminal Law and Neuroscience (L8792)
Columbia Law School, Spring 2019