July 3, 2022

Child brain scans to identify future criminals

The seeds of criminal and antisocial behaviour can be detected in children as young as three by using tests and brain imaging, a leading criminologist has claimed.

The seeds of criminal
and antisocial behaviour can be detected in children as young as three
by using tests and brain imaging, a
leading criminologist has claimed. At a meeting of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, in Washington, Prof Adrian
Raine, from the UK, described how useful these could be for identifying
potential troublemakers. He even predicted that children could be
screened for criminal tendencies just as they are currently screened for
genetic diseases. 

Professor Raine has shown that
criminals and psychopaths have smaller areas of the brain such as the
prefrontal cortex and amygdala, both of which regulate and control
emotion and behaviour. He also believes that a lack of conditioning to
fear punishment, which can be observed in toddlers before they become
disruptive, could also be strongly indicative. 

On the positive side,
if potential criminals were identified early enough, doctors could
prescribe counselling to counteract innate behavioural problems, and
boost the brain with drugs or foods rich in Omega 3. He acknowledged the
ethical problems of treating children before they had done anything
wrong, but argues that “biological” causes of crime cannot be ignored. ~ London Telegraph,
Feb 22

Jared Yee
brain scans
neuroscience