Neuroimaging Studies of Aggressive and Violent Behavior: Implications for Criminology and Criminal Justice

Vickie Luttrell, Drury University
Jana Bufkin, Drury College

With the availability of new functional and structural neuroimaging techniques, researchers have begun to localize which brain areas may be dysfunctional in aggressive and violent offenders. Our review of 18 neuroimaging studies reveals that the areas associated with aggressive and violent behavioral histories are located in the prefrontal cortext and the medial temporal regions. We suggest ways in which such findings may impact future theoretical frameworks in criminology, crime prevention efforts, and the functioning of the criminal justice system.

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Updated 05/20/2006