The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime

The CCJS Annual Lecture 2014 will be delivered by Professor Adrian Raine

The very rapid developments taking place in neuroscience are creating an uncomfortable tension between our concepts of responsibility and retribution on the one hand, and understanding and mercy on the other.

Neurocriminology is a new field which is increasingly documenting brain impairments not just in adult offenders, but also in antisocial children. This talk outlines implications of this new research not just for current criminological research, but also for our future conceptualization of moral responsibility, free will, and punishment.

If the neural circuitry underlying morality is compromised in offenders, how moral is it of us to punish prisoners as much as we do? Can biological risk factors help better predict future violence? And how can we improve the brain to reduce violence?