The Los Angeles Times reports that a neuroscientist who did brain scans on inmates to measure impulsiveness found something more. Inmates with low Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) activity may have a higher chance of committing future criminal acts. Beside impulses, the ACC regulates decision-making, emotions and empathy (Wikipedia). Dr. Kent Kiehl’s team also interviewed the inmates and read their prison files to support the predictions of future criminal acts.
Kiehl’s quest to better understand psychopathy led him to perform magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) on inmates to determine if there were differences in the brain activity of those who were diagnosed as having an anti-social personality disorder, more commonly referred to as psychopathy, and those in the general population. Click here to go to website.
In his L.A. Times article Michael Haederle helps to answer questions concerning Kiehl’s findings, such as why an inmate might be scanned, and whether the data Kiehl’s team collected can be used to create new treatments to help those with an anti-social personality disorder.