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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Neuroscientist discovers part of human brain responsible for criminal behaviour

Neuroscientist discovers part of human brain responsible for criminal behaviour

Studying the implications of brain psychotraumatization for criminal behaviour in humans, Dr Gerhard Roth discovered recently that some people might actually be to be criminal In his experiments Dr Roth showed short video clips of murder scenes to a group of violent killers, rapists and robbers, while simultaneously monitoring their brain activity. After studying the results Dr Roth found that most criminals had a dark mass in the lower central lobe of the brain that prevented feelings of empathy or sadness while watching the violent scenes. Dr Roth also observed that when the patch responsible for criminal behaviour was damaged, as a result of brain trauma or a tumour, people became less prone to violence or criminality. As a result, the researcher concluded that some criminals had a predisposition to violence and to antisocial behaviour more generally.

Dr Roth cited a 66 percent probability of an adolescent with such a brain abnormality becoming a criminal, though the doctor does not claim that this predisposition to criminality is exclusively biological. While biology plays a crucial role in the process of becoming a criminal, whether or not a person actually does so also depends on the parental environment and access to social support.

One of the main criticisms of Dr Roth research was the fact that central lobe doesnt exist in the human brain. Indeed, each side of the brain consists of four different lobes: the frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes, it would seem therefore that, either the German scientist has found a completely new area of the human brain, which would in itself be a revolutionary discovery, or his findings lack scientific merit.

At the same time though, Dr Roth study should not be discredited. Despite deep skepticism about the scientist report, past research indicates that the brains of some criminals can indeed be significantly different from the norm; according to a 2009 brain study of 27 psychopathic individuals, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, people suffering from this condition have pronounced deformities in the amygdala. More specifically, the psychopaths brain scans showed an 18 percent reduction in volume of this area and a substantial thinning of the outer layer of the amygdala cortex. It was later found that the amygdala is central to controlling human emotion. Because psychopaths are known to have difficulties with feelings such as remorse or guilt, it seems reasonable to believe that this part of a psychopathic brain could indeed be significant deformed. Another study, that examined people diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, a condition found in most convicted criminals, found an 18 percent reduction in the volume of the middle frontal gyrus and a 9 percent reduction in volume of the orbital frontal gyrus. The two regions are contained within the frontal lobe and are supposedly deeply connected with moral processing, the human ability to differentiate between right and wrong.

On a more general note, it is important that research into any biological differences in criminals should continue. If it can be proved that there is a neurological basis to criminal behaviour in people, not only will it be possible to learn, at an early age, about an individual being prone to criminality, but it may also be possible to the problem and provide help and support to prevent the realisation of that biological potential. The human brain is extremely flexible and there are many parts of it that are not fixed until adulthood. Neurogenesis, or brain plasticity, can occur even at the age of 25. If an individual is found to be biologically likely to become a criminal, intervention along his or her developmental pathway could make a big difference. In some cases, brain surgery might not be necessary, social intervention could be just as effective as more invasive methods. Fontaine studies, for instance, suggest that children displaying limited emotions do not respond well to punishment; instead, parenting methods that reward good behaviour with positive reinforcement seem to work better. Medicinal intervention could also be an option; investigations are underway to determine the effectiveness of supplementary omega3 fatty acid pills, usually called oil at helping children who display antisocial traits. Fish oil is a nutrient that is used in cell growth and it may also help some brain cells to grow, regulating braingrowth deficiencies.

All in all, with such a wide variety of ongoing research into criminal behaviour, perhaps the human race might well be heading toward a times when criminality will truly become a thing of the past.

For many people of the world the Bradley Manning case seems absurd and his persecution by the US Government something difficult to comprehend. He was something that the US government is afraid of, he was a soldier with a conscience who exposed war crimes being committed by US forces. The way the US has turned logic upside down by going after one who exposed crimes while protecting those who commit crimes should have the world up in arms. Only an illegal and illegitimate government would protect criminals while persecuting and even torturing a moral and upstanding brave individual who had the courage to stand up and blow the whistle on what he saw, rather than being rewarded and seen as a hero. Those protecting the criminals have decided to make Mr. Manning an example in order to throw fear into the hearts of anyone who would dare to expose their illegality.

The Children Rights Commissioner for the Russian President, Pavel Astakhov, asked the Federal Migration Service head to grant asylum for a daughter of a Russian woman who has escaped from her husband in Norway. The girl can be granted asylum in Russia as a minor needing protection, a lawyer, Roman Stepanov, said to the Voice of Russia. The girl and her mother are currently staying in transit zone of Moscow Sheremetyevo airport in much the same way as exCIA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden had for three weeks.

Fonterra, the world leading exporter of dairy products, is recalling a number of its milk products after a food poisoning scare. China, which is the major importer of milk powder from New Zealand was the first country to impose bans on Fonterra products. The Chinese decision was supported by Russia that has also put Fonterra deliveries on hold. Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare is now investigating whether contaminated products from New Zealand were imported to the markets. Professor of economy at the New School University Max Fraad Wolff talked with the Voice of Russia about the impact of Fronterraban on New Zealands market.

Keeping a killer dog in Britain may become a risky business. The government has come up with new sentencing proposals for dog owners whose pets attack people in public venues. The options for the owner of a dog which injures a person or an assistance dog could range from a tenyear prison terms to a life behind bars. At present, the maximum sentence is two years in jail. Mr Dave Joyce, the National Health, Safety Environment Officer at The Communication Workers Union, talked with the Voice of Russia about the new policy.

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