Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Brain Abnormalities and Crime
Yaling Yang & Adrian Raine
Despite the large body of knowledge accumulated by neuroimaging research in the last few decades associating criminal behavior to various neurobiological risk factors, the most well-known theories of criminology remained focused on the use of social and environmental variables to explain criminal and antisocial tendencies. The lack of inclusion of a neurobiological aspect in these theories prevents an in-depth understanding of the complicated biosocial mechanisms underlying criminal behavior, specifically regarding the role that brain abnormalities play in predisposing individuals to criminal and/or violent behavior. This gap in theories can be viewed as problematic especially since several reports have confirmed high rates of brain abnormalities among death row inmates, forensic psychiatric inpatients, and other individuals with a history of violence. The phrase brain abnormalities is often employed, as an umbrella term, to describe congenital or acquired anatomical or functional alterations in the brain. Brain abnormalities have long been associated with This ...