Biological Theories and Criminal Behavior

Topics: Frontal lobe, Nervous system, Psychology Pages: 3 (854 words) Published: October 12, 2014
Biological Theories and Criminal Behavior
Biological theories address deviant behavior as a relationship between biological factors, and social norms in respect to crime. The theories address behavior of an individual based upon his or her biological impact. Schmalleger, (2008) points out a connection to social environments and the impact upon human behavior. The connection has validity because of human thoughts and activities are constantly flowing through the brain providing an impact relating to behavior. Researchers base biological theories on flaws relating to heredity, dysfunction of the brain’s neurotransmitters, injuries, trauma, or abnormalities involving the brain affecting behavior (Raine, 2002). Brain development is a biological theory providing information connecting damage of the frontal lobes located in the brain’s cerebrum to criminal behavior. The brain is similar to a computer sending messages to the body and when the messages cannot be delivered it is because of a dysfunction that has occurred in the brain. The frontal lobes and the limbic system are two of the major areas of the brain involving behavior. The frontal lobes are responsible for reasoning, problem solving, and emotions (Allen & Harper, 2010). The limbic system contains electrical circuitry controlling emotions and motivation (Allen & Harper, 2010). The amygdala when stimulated produces behavior related to emotions, memory and fear. When the amygdala is functioning properly it produces the proper behavioral reaction or response to the event that is happening (Allen & Harper, 2010) When damage occurs to the frontal lobes the ability to reason or censor thoughts, and actions will become impaired leading to maladaptive behavior, aggression, or anti-social behavior (Allen, & Harper, 2010). A study by Antonio Damasio provided information relating to injuries of the frontal lobes may be responsible for anti- social behavior (Crime Times, 2007). The study revealed that damage to the...

References: Allen, C. & Harper, V. (2010). Laboratory Manual for Anatomy and Physiology, Fourth Edition
/ Edition 4 Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated Hoboken, NJ ISBN-13: 9781118135662
Crime Times, (2007) A lesson from history... Phineas Gage and frontal lobe damage. Retrieved from
Phillips, J. (2012). The Brain and Crime: What is the relationship here? Retrieved from
Raine, A. (2002). The biological basis of crime. In J.Q Wilson & J. Petrsilia (Eds.) Crime: Public policies for crime control. Oakland: ICS Press.
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