Biological Explanations: Neural

Evidence suggests neural difference in brains of criminals and non-criminals, most evidence in this area is found in individuals diagnosed with APD (formerly known as psychopathy). This is in many convicted criminals and is associated with reduced emotional responses, lack of empathy for others.

  • Prefrontal cortex
    • Adrian Raine – found that several brain imaging techniques found that individuals with antisocial personalities have reduced activity in prefrontal cortex                                   
    • Raine et al (2000) – 11% reduction in volume of grey matter in prefrontal cortex in people with ADP compared to controls
  • Mirror Neurons
    • Recent research suggests people with ADP experience empathy, only sporadically
    • Christian Keysers et al (2011) – when criminals asked to empathise with a person ina film, their empathy reaction (controlled by mirror neurons) activated – suggests that people with ADP possess neural switch