Friday, February 19, 2016

Normal brain and the criminal brain

Neurocriminology is the application of neuroscience to criminology.  In this growing field, researchers have documented differences between the "normal" brain and the criminal brain.  The amygdala is located in the prefrontal cortex and is associated with emotion and fear.  The correlation between criminal behavior and the amygdala is the idea that the less fear someone feels, the less likely he is to have conscience to guide his behavior.  One study showed the amygdala had a 18% volume reduction in psychopaths compared to non-psychopaths.  Blaming mental illness or one's environment paints the offender as a victim and research on criminality to genetics has been inconclusive.  Instead criminal patterns, such as breaking rules and lying, begin during early childhood and this leads to a life of crime.  The individual who behaves responsibly has a radically different way of thinking from the person who makes crime a way of life.  The two mentalities are so different, it's as though the criminals were a different breed.

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