Neuroscience, Neuropolitics and Neuroethics: The Complex Case of Crime, Deception and fMRI
- 1.5k Downloads
Scientific developments take place in a socio-political context but scientists often ignore the ways their innovations will be both interpreted by the media and used by policy makers. In the rush to neuroscientific discovery important questions are overlooked, such as the ways: (1) the brain, environment and behavior are related; (2) biological changes are mediated by social organization; (3) institutional bias in the application of technical procedures ignores race, class and gender dimensions of society; (4) knowledge is used to the advantage of the powerful; and (5) its applications may reinforce existing structures of power that pose ethical questions about distributive justice. The case of crime, deception and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) shows the complexity, and the political and ethical challenges that confront those who seek to use neuroscience to explain the etiology of crime, and who base policy on its findings. An ethically grounded neuroscience needs to take account of existing structures of power and difference, and to develop a public neuropolitical consciousness that ensures that those subject to risk by the application of science and technology are participants in the decision-making processes involving the implementation of policies that affect them.
KeywordsBiosocial theories of crime Brain and criminal behavior Criminal justice policy Deception fMRI Neuroethics Neuroimaging Neuropolitics Neuroscience
We thank Machiel Keestra, Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Amsterdam, and several external reviewers for their constructive comments on an earlier version of this article.
- Aggarwal, N. K. (2009). Neuroimaging, culture, and forensic psychiatry. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 37(2), 239–244.Google Scholar
- Beaver, K. M., & Walsh, A. (Eds.). (2010). Biosocial theories of crime. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Begley, S. (2008, January 12). Mind reading is now possible. Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/2008/01/12/mind-reading-is-now-possible.html. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Bird, S. J. (2005). Neuroethics. In C. Mitcham (Ed.), Encyclopedia of science, technology, and ethics (pp. 1310–1316). Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Blank, R. (1999). Brain policy: How the neurosciences will change our lives and our politics. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
- Brainard, J. & Hermes, J. J. (2008, March 28). Colleges’ earmarks grow, amid criticism. Chronicle of Higher Education. http://chronicle.com/article/Colleges-Earmarks-Grow-Amid/3252/. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). (2010). Prison inmates at midyear 2009—statistical tables. Washington DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2200. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Carlat, D. (2008, May 19). Brain scans as mind readers? Don’t believe the hype. Wired Magazine 16(6). http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/magazine/16-06/mf_neurohacks. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Cephos Corp. (2008). http://www.cephoscorp.com/. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Churchland, P. S. (2005). Moral decision-making and the brain. In J. Illes (Ed.), Neuroethics in the 21st century (pp. 4–16). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (92–102), 509 U.S. 579 (1993).Google Scholar
- Discover Magazine. (2010, June 6). Federal judge: Brain scans not welcome as lie-detecting evidence. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/06/02/federal-judge-brain-scans-not-welcome-as-lie-detecting-evidence/. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Ellis, L. (1988). Neurohormonal bases of varying tendencies to learn delinquent and criminal behavior. In E. K. Morris & C. J. Braukmann (Eds.), Behavioral approaches to crime and delinquency (pp. 499–518). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
- Fishbein, D. H. (2006). Integrating findings from neurobiology into criminological thought: Issues, solutions and implications. In S. Henry & M. M. Lanier (Eds.), The essential criminology reader (pp. 43–68). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- Gitlin, J. M. (2011). Thoughtcrime? The ethics of neuroscience and criminality. Ars Technica. http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/02/thoughtcrime-the-ethics-of-neuroscience-and-criminality.ars. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Glueck, S., & Glueck, E. (1956). Physique and delinquency. New York: Harper & Brothers.Google Scholar
- Greely, H. T. (2004). Prediction, litigation, privacy, and property: Some possible legal and social implications of advances in neuroscience. In B. Garland (Ed.), Neuroscience and the law: Brain, mind, and the scales of justice (pp. 114–156). New York, NY: The Dana Press.Google Scholar
- Greely, H. T., & Illes, J. (2007). Neuroscience-based lie detection: The urgent need for regulation. The American Journal of Law and Medicine, 33, 377–431.Google Scholar
- Greenberg, D. S. (1967). The politics of pure science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Greenberg, D. S. (1999). The politics of pure science. Revised edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Hacking, I. (1995). The looping effects of human kinds. In D. Sperber, D. Premack, & A. J. Premack (Eds.), Causal cognition: A multidisciplinary debate (pp. 351–394). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
- Haddock, V. (2006, August 6). Lies wide open: Researchers say technology can show when and how a lie is created inside the brain. San Francisco Chronicle, E1.Google Scholar
- Henry, S., & Lanier, M. M. (Eds.). (2001). What is crime?. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
- Hurwitz, S., & Christiansen, K. O. (1983). Criminology. London: George Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
- Illes, J. (Ed.). (2005). Neuroethics in the 21st century. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Jeffery, C. R. (1994). Biological and neuropsychiatric approaches to criminal behavior. In G. Barak (Ed.), Varieties of criminology: Readings from a dynamic discipline (pp. 15–28). Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
- Keestra, M. (2012). Bounded mirroring: Joint action and group membership in political theory and cognitive neuroscience. In F. Vander Valk (Ed.), Thinking about the body politic: Essays on neuroscience and political theory (pp. 222–249). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Langleben, D., Dattilio, F. M., & Guthei, T. G. (2006). True lies: Delusions and lie-detection technology. The Journal of Psychiatry and the Law, 34(3), 351–370.Google Scholar
- Lanier, M. M., & Henry, S. (2004). Essential criminology (2nd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- Lanier, M. M., & Henry, S. (2010). Essential criminology (3rd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- Latour, B. (1987). Science in action: How to follow scientists and engineers through society. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Latour, B., & Woolgar, S. (1979). Laboratory life: The social construction of scientific facts. Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
- Maddox, J. (1999). Foreword. The politics of pure science. Revised edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. ix–xiv.Google Scholar
- Maruna, S., & Copes, H. (2004). Excuses, excuses: What have we learned from five decades of neutralization research? In M. Tonry (Ed.) Crime and Justice (Vol. 32, pp. 1–100). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Matza, D. (1964). Delinquency and drift. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- McCauley, R. N. (2001). Explanatory pluralism and the coevolution of theories in science. In W. Bechtel, P. Mandik, J. Mundale, & R. Stufflebeam (Eds.), Philosophy and the neurosciences (pp. 431–456). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
- Mednick, S. A. (1985, March,). Crime in the family tree. Psychology Today (pp. 58–61).Google Scholar
- Niehoff, D. (2002). The biology of violence: How understanding the brain, behavior and environment can break the vicious cycle of aggression. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- No Lie MRI. (2006). http://www.noliemri.com/. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Raine, A., Meloy, J. R., Bihrle, S., Stoddard, J., LaCasse, L., & Buchsbaum, M. (1998). Reduced prefrontal and increased subcortical brain functioning assessed using positron emission tomography in predatory and affective murderers. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 16, 319–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Robinson, E. (2010, July 19). Brain scan lie detection. Policy Innovations. http://www.policyinnovations.org/ideas/briefings/data/000172. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Robinson, M. B., & Beaver, K. M. (2009). Why crime: An interdisciplinary approach to explaining criminal behavior. Durham NC: Carolina Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Sarbin, T. R., & Miller, L. E. (1970). Demonism revisited: The XYY chromosome anomaly. Issues in Criminology, 5, 195–207.Google Scholar
- Sheldon, W. H., Hastl, E. M., & McDermott, E. (1949). Varieties of delinquent youth. New York: Harper & Brothers.Google Scholar
- Talbot, M. (2010, May 25). Brain scans on trial. The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/05/brain-scans.html. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Temple-Raston, D. (2007, October 30). Neuroscientist uses brain scan to see lies form Morning Edition, NPR. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15744871. Accessed February 16, 2008.
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2011). Overview of race and Hispanic origin: 2010. Washington DC: US Census Bureau, Population Estimates and Projections.http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-02.pdf. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Van Erp, A. M. M., & Miczek, K. A. (1996). Prefrontal dopamine and serotonin: Microdialysis during aggression and alcohol self-administration in rats. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 22, 161.Google Scholar
- Willing, R. (2006, June 26). MRI tests offer glimpse at brains behind the lies. USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2006-06-26-mri-lie_x.htm. Accessed August 8, 2012.
- Wilson, J. Q., & Herrnstein, R. (1985). Crime and human nature. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar