Violent criminal behavior may be a sequela of functionally and structurally compromised prefrontal and corticolimbic cortices. These anatomically distinct yet functionally integrated regions of the human brain confer qualities of moral sensibility and intentionality of action. Criminal behavior leading to conviction necessitates the commission of a prohibited act, actus reus, coincidentally occurring with a guilty state of mind, mens rea. Sentencing determinations markedly differ for those who intentionally violate compared to reckless acts and such outcomes can be critically life-impactful. However, making inferential assessments about an aggressor’s mental state can be a challenging task for legal experts. This meta-analysis reviews how the functional somatotopy of brain regions associated with aggression can be forensically assessed to contextualize violent criminal behavior to facilitate legal processes. Because brain scans have diagnostic credibility, by extension, they are increasingly becoming persuasive forensic evidence. A centralized neuroimaging database may emerge as a game-change for legal processes. The intercalated framework of neurolaw uniquely offers great power to elucidate criminological factors within the statute.
|Imprint||Glasstree Academic Publishing|
|Copyright||2018, Amy Du Beau|
|Copyright License||Standard Copyright License|
|Type of Publication||Monograph (standalone)|
|Peer Review Status||Open, Completed|
|Keywords||Aggression, Neuroanatomy, Neuroimaging, Neurolaw, Neuroscience, Psychopathy|