Antisocial behaviour and neuroscience

Three-dimensional model of the human brain. ‘What happens when neurological centres are discovered that account for beliefs that antisocial behaviour is wrong and neurological intrusions are right?’ asks Peter Cave. Photograph: AP Having discovered the part of the brain that accounts for empathy and generosity, some neuroscientists are hoping to correct the “wrong” behaviour of antisocial individuals (Scientists pinpoint the brain’s ‘generosity centre’, 16 August). What happens when neurological centres are discovered that account for beliefs that antisocial behaviour is wrong and neurological intrusions are right? Might the antisocial, paradoxically, then seek to “correct” those beliefs? Understanding behaviour and beliefs via neurological causes runs the risk of losing sight of the difference between justifications and explanations. After all, justifications can be good or bad; neurological causes are neither. Peter CaveLondon • Join…


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