Can you spot evil in an X-ray? You can, at least according to a German scientist who claims an “evil patch” is visible in brain scans of criminals. Dr. Gerhard Roth, a neurologist and professor at the University of Bremen, told London’s Daily Mail that he discovered a dark mass near the front of the brain in scans of people with criminal records.
“When you look at the brain scans of hardened criminals, there are almost always severe shortcomings in the lower forehead part of the brain,” Roth said. “There are cases where someone becomes criminal as a result of a tumor or an injury in that area, and after an operation to remove the tumor, that person was completely normal again… This is definitely the region of the brain where evil is formed and where it lurks.”
Roth is not alone in his belief that brain scans can reveal psychopathic tendencies. Kent Kiehl, associate professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico, for one, used a mobile MRI unit to conduct brain scans on 2,000 prison inmates in Wisconsin and New Mexico.
‘Distinct neurological condition’
Kiehl found similar patterns in their brain scans. “If you have different behavior, you’re going to have a different brain,” he said at a 2012 lecture at Duke University. “Psychopathy is currently considered the single best predictor of future behavior,” Kiehl said.
A growing number of psychologists “believe that psychopathy, like autism, is a distinct neurological condition—one that can be identified in children as young as 5,” the New York Times reported in May. “Crucial to this diagnosis are callous-unemotional traits, which most researchers now believe distinguish ‘fledgling psychopaths.’”
Not all psychologists believe such a diagnosis is possible, and even those that do admit they are uncomfortable with it. Roth himself admits the research is not foolproof.
Do you believe there is really an “evil patch” in the brain of criminals? How could the results of this research be of help to our society? Feel free to comment on this new scientific finding!
Image: Belfast Telegraph