MRI scans reveal key differences in the gray matter of homicide offenders' brains

Mail Online | 7/15/2019 | James Pero For Dailymail.com
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A study mapping the brains of violent criminals is giving researchers new insight into the minds of murderers which experts say may help predict violent behavior.

In a study published in Brain Imaging and Behavior, researchers say they have observed substantial differences in the physical characteristics of homicidal criminals versus their violent counterparts.

Research - Brains - Males - MRI - Scans

According to research, which assessed the brains of 808 incarcerated males using MRI scans, two regions of the brain in particular showed the biggest difference.

'The orbital frontal cortex and anterior temporal lobes showed the largest effect sizes; that is, men who committed homicide had less gray matter in these regions than other violent or nonviolent offenders,' corresponding author of the study, Kent Kiehl, told New Atlas.

Offenders - Murder - Difference - Anatomies - Brains

Violent offenders who had not committed murder showed very little difference between anatomies of their brains, but researchers say that the difference between violent offenders and homicidal offenders was clear.

In all, the study analyzes 200 homicidal offenders which do not include the lesser offense of accomplice to murder.

Intent - Account - Murder - Rage - Homicides

Intent was also not taken into account, meaning those who committed murder during a violent rage and those who were found guilty of more premeditated homicides were viewed as one group.

Researchers are quick to note that while the study shouldn't be confused for a crystal ball for determining homicidal behavior, understanding differences in anatomy could very well pave the way for a type of predictive analytics.

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