Turing to crime: Biology


Raine: Understanding the development of antisocial

Aim: To take a multi-factorial approach to understanding anti-social and aggressive behvaiour in children with biological foucs 

Method: A review article 

Procedure: To review and summarisse the findings froma selection of articles and repor the findings as they relate to anti-social behaviour through a child's development 


- A low resting heart rate is a good indicator of who will seek excitement 

- In adolescent's the brain is still forming in the pre-frontal lobe; low activity in this region can mean they are more impulsive 

- Smoking and drinking can also cause damage to the pre-frontal lobe 

Conclusion: Raine concluded that early intervention and prevenetion could be the best way to reverse bilogical defect and prevent anti-social behaviour

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Brunner et al: A study of violence in a family wit

Aim: To explain the behaviour of a large family in the Netherlands where the males are affected by a syndrome of borderline mental retardation and abnormal violent behaviour 

Participant: The study was based on five males from the family 

Method: Data was collected from analysis of urine samples over 24 hours 

Results: Tests showed that the brothers had the defect in the enzyme MAOA, this meaning that they were unable to control serotonin levels


The enzyme MAOA is involved in controlling serotonin levels which is responsible for the mental retardation in the family and in turn may account for the violent behaviour. Brunner concluded that it was the deficency that makes males unable to control aggression. 

However not all the males in the family were affected by the violent behaviour  

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Daly and Wilson: Investigation of gender-related l

Aim: To find out if homocide rates would vary as a function of local life expectancy in Chicago 

Method: A correlation study using police records, school records and local demographic records 

Procedure: The study examined local communities in Chicago which had a lower than average life expectancies for males and plotted various correlations between data collection. 


- The lower the life expectancies the more homicides were committed; Daly and Wilson asked if it was possible that becasue the young men in this area discarded the future they took part in risk-taking behaviour for the short-term rewards

- Negative correlation between rate of absentessism from school and life expectancy - one explaination is that the parents are also operating on a short-time horizon

- In the case of the females, predicited that reproduction wil occur earlier in lower life expectancy areas

- Daly and Wilson believe that young adults are still driven by the acient traits such as risk taking and early reproduction, which is a response to the circumstances, leading to males in crime  

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