Analysis of images of a particular part of the brain could help predict whether a criminal would reoffend or not, says a new study.

The study conducted by the Mind Research Network (MRN) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, shows that neuro-imaging data can predict the likelihood of whether a criminal will reoffend after release from prison or not.

The paper, which is to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, studied impulsive and anti-social behaviour and focused on the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a portion of the brain that deals with regulating behaviour and impulsivity.

The study demonstrated that inmates with relatively low anterior cingulate activity were twice as likely to reoffend than inmates with high brain activity in this region, reports Science Daily.

“These findings have incredibly significant ramifications for the future of how our society deals with criminal justice and offenders,” said senior author Kent A. Kiehl, who is the director of mobile imaging at MRN and an associate professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico.

“This study gives us a tool to predict which criminals may reoffend and which ones will not, and also provides a path forward for steering offenders into more effective targeted therapies to reduce the risk of future criminal activity,” Mr. Kiehl added.

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