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Brain Scans 'To Predict Future Criminals'

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Brain Scans 'To Predict Future Criminals'
03-07-2011, 11:29 PM,
Brain Scans 'To Predict Future Criminals'
Quote:Psychologist Dr Adrian Raine said recognising problems in a child's limbic system, which controls emotion, will allow scientists to predict future offenders and psychopaths.

"Seeds of sin are sown quite early in life," Dr Raine told a science conference in the US.

The British scientist, who is at the University of Pennsylvania, said three year olds with a poorly-functioning amygdala, a key part of the limbic system, were more likely to commit crime 20 years later.

Further research presented at the conference showed emotional problems, like "callous-unemotional" (CU), were hereditary.

CU traits are associated with a lack of emotion, empathy and guilt and are linked to persistent bad behaviour in young children.

After assessing more than 9,000 twins between the ages of four and 12, Dr Nathalie Fontaine concluded that genetics played a fundamental role in the emergence of CU traits, especially in young boys.

Dr Raine said that a time would come when "we are going to be able to predict reasonably well which individuals at a modest age say eight to 10 years old are predicated to become criminal offenders".

The scientist added people would have to decide whether or not to intervene at an early age to stop crime despite possible mistakes in predictions.

Omega 3 - a fatty acid that helps build brain cells - was identified as being able to reduce aggressive behaviour in children based on studies that have shown giving supplements to prison inmates cut serious offending by a third.

"Its very simple - bad brain, bad behaviour… improve brain functioning and you will improve behaviour," Dr Raine said.
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Brain Scans 'To Predict Future Criminals' - TriWooOx - 03-07-2011, 11:29 PM

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