genetic and neural explanations

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  • Biological Explanations: Genetic and Neural
    • Genetic
      • Twin and adoption studies
        • Offenders inherit a gene or a combination of genes that predispose them to crime
        • Lange investigated 13 MZ and 17 DZ twins
          • One twin in each pair had spent time in prison
          • 10 MZ but only 2 DZ twins had a co twin who was also in prison
        • Crowe adopted children who had a biological parent in prison had 50% chance of criminal records by the age of 18
          • If they didn't have criminal parents they only had a 5% chance of the criminal record
      • Candidate genes
        • Genetic analysis of 900 offenders
          • Revealed 2 genes that are associated with crime
        • MAOA gene controls serotonin and dopamine - linked to aggressive behaviour
        • CDH13 linked to substance abuse and ADHD
      • Diathesis Stress Model
        • If genetics do have an influence on offending, it is likely it is partly moderated by the environment
        • Criminal behaviour comes from genetic predisposition and biological or psychological stressors (dysfunctional upbringing)
    • Neural
      • Antisocial Personality Disorder
        • Neural difference between normal people and offenders
        • Lack of empathy
        • Found in many convicted criminals
      • Reduced activity in prefrontal cortex
        • Raine discovered that there was an 11% reduction in the grey matter in the prefontal cortex with people with APD
          • Part of the brain that regulates emotional behaviour
      • Offenders mirror neurons (empathy) may not always be turned on
        • Only 'turned on' when they are asked to empathise
        • Suggests that APD individuals aren't totally without empathy but may have an empathy switch
          • Unlike normal brains who are permanently switched on

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