School of Psychology Seminar Series - The Anatomy of Violence: Dissecting the Biological Roots of Crime

Date Wednesday 13 December 2023
Time 11am
Where Hamilton Campus: S.1.01 or via zoom
Presenter Professor Adrian Raine
Contact Chellie Keenan
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

The rapid developments taking place in neuroscience are creating an uncomfortable tension between our concepts of responsibility and retribution on the one hand, and understanding and mercy on the other. Neurocriminology is a new field which is increasingly documenting brain impairments in violent offenders. This talk examines the implications of this body of knowledge for the criminal justice system. If the neural circuitry underlying morality is compromised in psychopaths, how moral is it of us to punish prisoners as harshly as we do? Should neurobiological risk factors be used to help us better predict who amongst us is at risk for future violence? And how can we change the brain to change antisocial and violent behavior? These are the thorny neuroethical and neurolegal challenges that we need to address in the not-too-distant future.

Adrian Raine is Professor of Criminology, Psychiatry, and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He gained his undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, and his PhD in Psychology from the University of York, UK. His interdisciplinary research focuses on the etiology and prevention of antisocial, violent, and psychopathic behavior in children, adolescents, and adults. He has been the principal investigator on 18 extramural research grants and main mentor on 11 NIH pre- and post-doctoral awards. He has published over 500 journal articles and book chapters in addition to 7 books and has given over 400 invited presentations in 32 countries. His book The Anatomy of Violence reviews the brain basis to violence and draws future implications for the punishment, prediction, and prevention of offending, as well as the neuroethical concerns surrounding this work. He is past-President of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, while awards include an honorary degree from the University of York (UK) in 2015 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in Psychopathy from the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy in 2017