Technology and Criminal Behavior

It has always been a very interesting topic. The known nature vs. nurture debate. In this case, we can relate it to criminal behavior. Are criminals born with the genes that can cause criminal behavior or are criminals actually ‘made’ by their environment. Personally, I always thought criminals are not born. I believe that everyone is born good, and that someone’s environment and surroundings can make someone become a criminal or psychopath. However, recently I saw an interesting article that explained something else.

In this article (Psychology Today – Criminal Genes and Criminal Brains) psychiatrist/neuroscientist Adrian Raine suggests a link between low levels of activity in the prefrontal regions of the brain and psychopathy. Another link is between brain structure and alledged criminals: the size of the striatum (responsible for planning and executing pathways of movement) is on average larger in criminals. In addition he claims people with the enzyme monoamine-oxidase or a variant of this enzyme tend to be more violent.

In addition, U.S scientists can predict criminal tendencies by looking at the brain of three-year old children. Studies have shown that these alledged criminal children have developed certain parts of their brain differently than similar ‘non-criminal’ children. Especially parts of the brain that deal with behavior, guilt and empathy.

What do you think about this topic? Do you think their is a relation between genes and criminal behavior or do you think that the environment of someone plays a bigger role in becoming a criminal? Or maybe it is a combination of the two? And what about the future? If there is a relation between genes and criminal behavior, can we use technology to ‘prevent’ crimes from happening based on these research results?



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