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Trauma Violence Abuse. 2005 Apr;6(2):176-91.

Neuroimaging studies of aggressive and violent behavior: current findings and implications for criminology and criminal justice.

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  • 1Drury University, USA.


With the availability of new functional and structural neuroimaging techniques, researchers have begun to localize brain areas that may be dysfunctional in offenders who are aggressive and violent. Our review of 17 neuroimaging studies reveals that the areas associated with aggressive and/or violent behavioral histories, particularly impulsive acts, are located in the prefrontal cortex and the medial temporal regions. These findings are explained in the context of negative emotion regulation, and suggestions are provided concerning how such findings may affect future theoretical frameworks in criminology, crime prevention efforts, and the functioning of the criminal justice system.

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