Thursday, August 18, 2016

Defense calls neuroscientist in Naramore hot car death case

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 11:50 AM

The defense case continues today in the trial of Judge Wade Naramore for negligent homicide in the death last summer of his son, Thomas, left in a car seat in the backseat of the judge's car when he went to work.

According to Tweets from Drew Petrimoulx of our news partner KARK, the scientist is talking about how small acts can "restart habit functions. In this case, Narmaore normally took his son to daycare before going to work. But he stopped for a McDonald's breakfast. The suggestion is that this caused a restart of a habit to drive to work. The expert also spoke of the familiar happenstance of drivers who place a cup of coffee or some other object atop a car before getting in, then forgetting it when driving off.

Dr. David Diamond, a Florida academic, said he was being paid $10,000 by the defense to testify about his study of "forgotten baby syndrome." The bottom line: It can happen to anyone. An advocacy group that works to reduce hot car deaths has written about Diamond:

Diamond hypothesizes that FBS occurs as a result of the competition between cognitive and habit forms of memory. Cognitive memory occurs when one consciously plans out a task to accomplish in the future, for example, planning to take a child to daycare as a part of a larger driving plan. In contrast, habit memory occurs when one performs a routine that can be completed automatically with minimal thought, such as driving to work in an “autopilot” mode, in which decisions as to where to stop and turn occur automatically.
Diamond's testimony was completed at mid-afternoon after prosecution cross-examination. According to Petrimoulx's coverage, attorneys attempted to demonstrate he didn't know enough about Wade Naramore to make a judgment about what had happened in this case.

Subsequent testimony included Paramore's mother-in-law and brother-in-law, won testified to his quality as a father and the devastating impact of the death of his son.

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