Monitoring criminal brains: Assessing the emergence and consequences of neuro-criminology and brain-crime images produced by brain visualization technologies


In the slipstream of the human genome project and brain visualization technologies a new field of study has emerged: neuro-criminology. Here, studies of human evolution, genes and brains are related to crime and crime control. The research proposed here is a cutting edge study of the current plausibility of the brain-crime connection and the implications of neuro-criminology for crime control. Two strategic cases are selected. The first is the cooperative works of the founder of neuro-criminology Adrian Raine. This case is studied from a governmentality perspective that scrutinizes how neuro-criminology is part of a problematization of penal welfarism and corresponding sociological accounts of crime, and how neuro-criminological knowledge invents new subjects and programs of crime control. The second consists of technologies of brain visualization such as PET-scans and MRI-scans. These technologies of brain visualization produce persuasive and supposedly objective representations of brain-crime connections. The technologies of brain visualization are assessed from a science and technology perspective thereby scrutinizing the production, deployment and contestation of brain-crime images. Besides the scientific relevance of the topic and its innovative approach this research also aims at enhancing our understanding of neuro-criminology and the way present public issues are governed.