Showing posts from July, 2019

The murderous brain - can neuroimaging really distinguish murderers?

A new study claims that neuroimaging can be used to distinguish the brains of murderers from non-murderers. It follows in a long tradition of attempts to find biological indicators of violent criminality, from faces to skull bumps to genes to brains. But are the data convincing? Does this study really accomplish what it claims? Is it even based on a well-founded question? And what are the ethical implications?
Here is the abstract of the paper, by Ashly Sajous-Turner and colleagues:
Homicide is a significant societal problem with economic costs in the billions of dollars annually and incalculable emotionaimpact on victims and society. Despite this high burden, we know very little about the neuroscience of individuals who commit homicide. Here we examine brain gray matter differences in incarcerated adult males who have committed homicide (n = 203) compared to other non-homicide offenders (n = 605; total n = 808). Homicide offenders’ show reduced gray matter in brain areas critical for …