General, Research, Technology

The brain of hooligans was smaller than that of all other people

International team of neuroscientistsscanned the brain of hooligans and found something dark: their brain seems to be physically smaller than other people. The results of a study published in The Lancet magazine confirm the findings of scientists that a small part of people with stable antisocial behavior throughout their lives may experience differences in the structure and size of the brain, which impede the development of social skills that impede antisocial behavior. In the course of work, the team used an MRI machine to study the brain of more than 1000 participants. It turned out that the cerebral cortex of bullies is not only much thinner than everyone else, but the brain itself is smaller.

It turned out that the reason for antisocial behavior lies in the size and structure of the brain

Anomalies in the structure of the brain

Persistent antisocial behavior among adultspeople correlates with abnormalities in brain structure in adulthood. In the course of the work, the research team collected data from structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of more than 1030 subjects. At the time of data collection, the subjects were 45 years old, but they had problems with behavior since they were three years old. Scientists wanted to find out whether antisocial behavior is associated with abnormalities in the average surface area and average thickness of the cerebral cortex. Four subjects were excluded from the study as a result of tumors or brain injuries.

After examining MRI data, scientists rated 12%participants as demonstrating persistent antisocial behavior throughout life; 23% - showing limited antisocial behavior in adolescence; 66% - showing low antisocial behavior. Researchers also found that a smaller average surface area and lower average cortical thickness were more visible in participants with sustained antisocial lifelong behavior than other subjects. The authors of the work suggest that most people with stable antisocial behavior have difficulties in developing social skills. According to the lead author of the study, Christina Carlizey, a researcher at University College London, such people need support.

Structural changes in the brain of hooligans have been identified, which may pose a number of ethical issues for society

However, there is an important exception: in the brain of people who showed antisocial behavior only in adolescence, and not in adulthood, such abnormalities were not detected. This is good news for all corrected hooligans, but bad for those who have antisocial behavior in adulthood. The study also showed that the brains of those who were seen as “theft, aggression and violence, bullying, lying or repeatedly failing to fulfill their duties at work or at school” were physically different from the brains of other participants.

This is interesting: How does bullying in school affect a child’s brain?

Ethical issues

The results of another studyevidence that the causes of antisocial behavior lie much deeper than is generally thought of. The brain of serial killers, which you probably read about on our channel in Yandex.Zen, according to the results obtained, is very different from the brain of all other people. The thin prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for controlling behavior, as well as the small amygdala, which is responsible for our ability to empathize with others, is especially notable. According to some scholars, this situation poses a number of complex ethical issues for society, including how to judge people who have committed crimes if they themselves are not at least partially guilty of this? Are life sentences and death sentences fair?