Brain scans to pick future criminals

Two leading criminologists, who have put forward the theory, say by predicting which children have the potential to be trouble-makers, treatments could be introduced to keep them on the straight and narrow.

Prof Adrian Raine, one of the two British criminologists, argued that abnormal physical brain make-up could be a cause of criminality as well as helping to predict it, the Daily Telegraph reported.

His studies have shown that psychopaths and criminals have smaller areas of the brain such as the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, both of which regulate and control emotion and behaviour.He also believes that a lack of conditioning to fear punishment which can be measured in toddlers before disruptive behaviour is apparent, could also be a strong indicator.

Another criminologist, Dr Nathalie Fontaine, argued that children as young as four exhibited “callous unemotional traits” such as lack of guilt and empathy that could also suggest future bad behaviour.

Linking these features with “conduct problems” such as throwing tantrums could be a strong way to predict who could be anti-social in later life.

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