Magazine article Corrections Forum

Study Links Biology and Violence

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Study Links Biology and Violence

Article excerpt

In the first study of its kind, neuroscientists used high-tech imaging technology to view the minds of killers in an effort to determine whether their brains differ in a fundamental way from "normal" individuals. According to an article recently published in Newsday, researchers found evidence that some people may be born with brains that made them prone to violence. Andrian Raine, a clinical neuroscientist at The University of Southern California in Los Angeles led the study that used positron emission tomography that measures activity of various parts of the brain. The study indicated that 5.7 percent less activity in a part of the brain known as the medial prefrontal cortex was found in 26 murderers. This study group also showed an average of 14.3 less activity in a part of the medial prefrontal cortex known as the orbitofrontal cortex, on the right hemisphere. The medial prefrontal cortex is found behind the forehead and has been shown in research with animals to inhibit the limbic system, a region deep inside the brain that produces aggressive behavior. …

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