Skip to comments.How to spot a murderer's brain
Posted on 05/12/2013 12:27:26 PM PDT by null and void
Scans of a normal brain, left, beside that of murderer Antonio Bustamante, who was spared the death penalty after a jury was shown these pictures. Photograph: Public domain
Adrian Raine, who describes himself as a neurocriminologist, moved from Britain to the US.
In Britain, the causes of crime were allowed to be exclusively social and environmental, the result of disturbed or impoverished nurture, rather than fated and genetic nature. To suggest otherwise ... was to doom yourself to an absence of funding.
Raine cites two very recent brain-imaging studies to back this up. One is a study in New Mexico in which prisoners are scanned on release. "What they are discovering is that if the functioning of the anterior cingulate, part of the limbic system, is lower than normal before release, they are twice as likely to be reconvicted in the next three years. And that marker is more accurate a guide than all other social factors," Raine says. A second study apparently shows if a released prisoner has a significantly smaller volume in the amygdala, the almond-shaped part of the brain crucial for processing memory and emotion, he or she is three times more likely to reoffend. "Now, this is only two studies, but what they are beginning to show is proof of concept, that if we added neurological factors into the equation we could do a better job at predicting future behaviour."
It is perhaps not too wildly far-fetched to imagine that such scans will one day be as routine as immunisation programmes; the bigger question then will be how we begin to react to the results. Raine rather likes the idea of public health programmes as crime prevention: "The teenage brain is still very malleable.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
I so want to move to Texas.
Do you know anyone looking for an experienced semiconductor process engineer?
1.) All English "news" papers need to be regarded with deep, abiding skepticism, and the Guardian with many times the normal amount. What their articles frequently lack in authenticity, they compensate for in imagination.
2.) It's been conclusively demonstrated in numerous independent scientific studies over 99% of all convicted murderers ate hamburgers and French fries as small children; therefore, we need to ban hamburgers and French fries immediately for the sake of the children.
My linchpin rationale is JUSTICE for the victim. To take a life requires your own life be taken to serve justice.
Prevention of further murders is only necessary or possible if there is already a murder.
The death penalty is for murders not potential murders.
One must be convicted of a capital crime before one can be sentenced to death.
For a life sentence one must also be convicted of a crime.
I certainly do not advocate preventative incarceration.
Some people are just finding the physical / material basis of “free will” disturbing.
It’s like being in denial about the certainty of a pitbull bred for aggression being violent with children. The whole thing rips and tears their dogma, and that can be scary, indeed.
Thank you, for coming to my defense but that is not really what I said.
I believe that the only permanent solution, because of our messed up judicial system, for a murder is death.
A life sentence for a murder leaves the bleeding heart Liberals in the congress and in Black Robes the possibility of freeing a murder.
For all that, they compare favorably with American "news" papers. *sigh*
Fair enough, Thanks for the clarification.
So now when applying for a gun purchase you will need a brain scan!
>>Do you know anyone looking for an experienced semiconductor process engineer?<<
Well, I think TI is looking for fullconducter types...
If you finish your training I’ll see if I know anyone there ;)
(seriously, TEXAS Instruments is huge here)
And I’m wondering what the stimulus, stimulating which senses effected the images. Shades of A Clockwork Orange.
Well as soon as you lean on “it has a practical purpose of keeping others from getting murdered by the same perpetrator” you have moved your linchpin. Period.
Excellent point...How about David Berkowitz?
Having the predisposition to have problems does not always culminate in the problem. This is the nature/nurture debate.
“Its a risk to go off half cocked with these studies. It would be good to do longitudinal studies, following people through changes in their lives.”
Agreed. And even for this snapshot in time, I’d like more information about the control group here. Presumably the murderers were locked up in prison. Were the members of the control group also in prison? If not, how do we know the reported differences are not simply due to being in prison?
If the control group was in prison, how do we know that these prisoners had not also committed murder, but had not been detected and convicted of it? Do we just ask them and take their word for it?
I don’t accept any of this study, at this point. There is far too much phony science and far too little diligence in “peer review” of published papers today.
All this is so that one day the left can declare criminality a disease and eliminate jail time for crime.
In the ‘mind’ of the left, there is no free will, so no one chooses to commit a crime.
The implication of neurocriminology, though where it differs from the crude labelling of phrenology, say is that the choice it presents is not an either/or between nurture and nature, but a more complex understanding of how our biology reacts with its environment. Reading Raine’s account of the most recent research into these reactions, it still seems to me quite new and surprising that environmental factors change the physical structure of the brain. We tend to talk about a child’s development in terms of more esoteric ideas of mind rather than material brain structures, but the more you look at the data the clearer the evidence that abuse or neglect or poor nutrition or prenatal smoking and drinking have a real effect on whether or not those healthy neural connections which lead to behaviour associated with maturity, self-control and empathy are made. The science of this is called epigenetics, the way our environment regulates the expression of our innate genetic code....
Raine rather likes the idea of public health programmes as crime prevention: “The teenage brain is still very malleable. There is good evidence from randomised control testing that omega-3 [fish oil] has a positive effect on young offenders, and even mindfulness seems to improve behaviour and brain structures.”
One wonders how this fits into it, as what we do for good or evil affects others, even if not damning or saving them because of their parents ctions:
And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:6-7)
What if the crime was not caused by the shape of the brain, but the shape of the brain changes in response to events and behavior.
Thank you for an eloquent exposition of a question I posted, just below you.
At that point, a sane society only has the option of recognizing that this is a case where the criminal MUST be eliminated. He (or more rarely, she) has demonstrated both he has the potential to become violent, and he has demonstrated his ability and desire to do so.
He has forfeited his right to continue to be a clear and present danger to his neighbors.
Only a madman or a liberal (but I repeat myself) would argue for the right for a rabid animal to have free run of the playground.
Does rabies give a raccoon a pass when it bites a child?
Why should a brain defect give a man the right to again run free and murder another?
As for those who have dead or atrophied frontal lobes/amygdala and manage to live a civil life, more power to them! They are of better stuff than those of us who never feel the temptation, the urge, and have no intrinsic resources stopping them. My hat's off to them. They have to rise above their nature, and that is what marks us as human, we can be better than our base natures by an act of will and willpower.