Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Sep 15;42(6):495-508.

Brain abnormalities in murderers indicated by positron emission tomography.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90089-1061, USA.


Murderers pleading not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) are thought to have brain dysfunction, but there have been no previous studies reporting direct measures of both cortical and subcortical brain functioning in this specific group. Positron emission tomography brain imaging using a continuous performance challenge task was conducted on 41 murderers pleading not guilty by reason of insanity and 41 age- and sex-matched controls. Murderers were characterized by reduced glucose metabolism in the prefrontal cortex, superior parietal gyrus, left angular gyrus, and the corpus callosum, while abnormal asymmetries of activity (left hemisphere lower than right) were also found in the amygdala, thalamus, and medial temporal lobe. These preliminary findings provide initial indications of a network of abnormal cortical and subcortical brain processes that may predispose to violence in murderers pleading NGRI.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center