CrimNet Open Lecture
The rapid developments taking place in neuroscience research on crime are creating an uncomfortable tension between our concepts of responsibility and retribution on the one hand, and understanding and mercy on the other.
This talk provides a brief overview of this new body of knowledge and it implications for our future conceptualization of moral responsibility, free will, and punishment from a neuroscience perspective. If the neural circuitry underlying morality is compromised in psychopaths, how moral is it of us to punish them as much as we do? Should we use neurobiology to better predict who amongst us are predisposed to future violence? And how can we improve the brain to treat psychopathic criminal offending?
Professor Adrian Raine
Professor Raine's main area of interest is Neurocriminology =E2=80=93 a new sub-discipline of Criminology which applies neuroscience techniques to probe the causes and cures of crime. His laboratory focuses on risk and protective factors for childhood conduct disorder, reactive and proactive aggression, adult antisocial personality disorder, homicide, and psychopathy. They are also working on biological interventions for antisocial behavior, such as nutritional supplements and transcranial direct current stimulation. Their clinical neuroscience research program encompasses adults, adolescents, and children, and they have interests in both male and female antisocial behavior.
Techniques they have used in their research include structural and functional brain imaging, autonomic and central nervous system psychophysiology, neuroendocrinology, neuropsychology, genetics, x-ray fluorescence, and transcranial direct current stimulation They take a biopsychosocial perspective to our investigation of antisocial behavior in which their end-goal is to integrate social, psychological, and environmental processes with neurobiological approaches to better understand antisocial behavior. How this knowledge has implications for law is also another interest of Adrian's lab.
They are also interested in clinical disorders including schizotypal personality, hyperactivity, PTSD, and anxiety which are comorbid with antisocial behaviour.