Brain Damage and Murder

In the latest William Saletan (you may need to scroll down a little):

In a small study,
when presented with moral dilemmas (e.g., would you smother a baby to
prevent bad guys from finding and killing people in hiding), people
with damage to a specific part of the brain were two to three times more willing to kill than were normal people.

This recent study reminded me of a great book I read a few years back: Base Insticnts: What Makes Killers Kill.  The author, Jonathan Pincus, argues that frontal lobe brain damage is almost always present in killers.  Another reason to wear motorcycle and bicycle helmets, I suppose.  That, and I once knew a resident who worked in an ER and he said the physicians there referred to motorcycles as donorcycles. 

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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