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Brain Imaging Behav. 2019 Jul 5. doi: 10.1007/s11682-019-00155-y. [Epub ahead of print]

Aberrant brain gray matter in murderers.

Author information

1
The Mind Research Network, 1101 Yale Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87106, USA.
2
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA.
3
The Mind Research Network, 1101 Yale Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87106, USA. nanderson@mrn.org.
4
University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
5
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
6
The Mind Research Network, 1101 Yale Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87106, USA. kkiehl@mrn.org.
7
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA. kkiehl@mrn.org.

Abstract

Homicide is a significant societal problem with economic costs in the billions of dollars annually and incalculable emotional impact on victims and society. Despite this high burden, we know very little about the neuroscience of individuals who commit homicide. Here we examine brain gray matter differences in incarcerated adult males who have committed homicide (n = 203) compared to other non-homicide offenders (n = 605; total n = 808). Homicide offenders' show reduced gray matter in brain areas critical for behavioral control and social cognition compared with subsets of other violent and non-violent offenders. This demonstrates, for the first time, that unique brain abnormalities may distinguish offenders who kill from other serious violent offenders and non-violent antisocial individuals.

KEYWORDS:

Antisocial behavior; Brain imaging; Homicide; Violence; Voxel-based morphometry

PMID:
31278652
DOI:
10.1007/s11682-019-00155-y

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