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Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers . Brain abnormalities in murderers indicated by positron emission tomography Biological Psychiatry 42 495-508 . Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk. Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers. Introduction

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raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers

Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

Brain abnormalities in murderers indicated by positron emission tomography

Biological Psychiatry 42 495-508

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers1
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

Introduction

  • is there a biological basis for criminality?
  • PET scans
  • radioactive labels on:
  • blood/blood sugars
  • dopamine (neuro-transmitter)
  •  gamma ray signals
  • 7-8M ps
  • also MRI and fMRI

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers2
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

PET scans showing ‘hot spots’ for cognitive activities

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers3
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

introduction: problems

  • colourisation v complex  errors
  • 'hot spots' same for 'on & 'off' brain actions
  • practiced brain activity declines in that area
  • 'hottest spots' = only for newest tasks?
  • "it seems we should not let the quality of evidence get in the way of a good story" Banyard and Grayson 2000

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers4

A scan of the same subject demonstrating this skill after it had become familiar

Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

PET scan of a subject whilst practicing a new language skill

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers5
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

the study: subjects

  • 41 people: 39M 2F
  • charged with murder
  • pleading not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI)
  • all referred for PET for legal reasons
  • average age 34.3

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers6
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

the study: subjects’ medical histories

  • schizophrenia 6
  • head injury/organic brain damage 23
  • drug abuse 3
  • affective disorder 2
  • epilepsy 2
  • hyperactivity or learning disorder 3
  • personality disorder 2

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers7
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

the study: controls

  • 1 for each subject
  • matched for age / sex
  • schizophrenics with non-murderer schizophrenics
  • all controls screened for mental/physical health

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers8
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

the study: the PET process

  • injection with glucose tracer
  • 32 mins on target recognition task
  • NRGI/controls compared re 14 L&R brain areas
  • 6 cortical:
  • inc prefrontal; parietal; temporal; occipital
  • 8 sub cortical:
  • inc corpus callosum; amygdala; hippocampus

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers9
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

the study: ANOVA

  • statistical comparison
  • ANalysis Of VAriance
  • compares a range of factors

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers10
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

results: cortical areas

  • differences in activity in lobes of cerebral cortex cf controls;
  • parietal & pre-fontal: less activity =?
  • occipital: more activity =?
  • temporal: same =?

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers11
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

results: sub cortical areas

  • less activity in corpus callosum cf controls
  • a sub-cortical area =?
  • cf Sperry

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers12
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

results: sub cortical areas

  • imbalance between hemispheres cf controls in;
  • amygdala; hippocampus – less activity L / more R
  • thalamus - more activity R / same L
  • handedness made no difference
  • ethnicity made no difference
  • head injury patients’ corpus callosum only difference

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers13
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

discussion: authors (1)

  • supports previous findings;
  • amygdala (part of limbic system) differences (linked to emotions; lack of fear)
  • corpus callosum differences linked to lack of long term perspective?
  • cautious about implications

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers14
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

discussion: authors (2)

  • results;
  • do not show violence is only biological in origin
  • do not show NGRIs not responsible for their own actions
  • do no say anything about causes of differences
  • cannot be generalised from NGRIs to other violent offenders
  • cannot be generalised to other types of crime

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers15
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

discussion: other issues

  • imaging methods still being developed
  • pre-scan task no bearing on violent behaviour
  • NGRIs not necessarily charged with violent act
  • cause  effect of brain differences unclear

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers16
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

discussion: practical applications

  • diagnosis of criminality?
  • no clear evidence to support this
  • treatment of criminality
  • no clear evidence to support this

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk

raine et al 1997 brain abnormalities in murderers17
Raine et al (1997) Brain abnormalities in murderers

discussion:summary

  • data unclear
  • differences small
  • cause-effect unknown
  • meaning of differences unknown

Mark Souter psychlotron.org.uk