I watched a Ted video yesterday about serial killers and the way their brains work.
There was an interesting premise interpreted by Daniel Reisel, the man giving the lecture, that the reason why criminals have little to no empathy is because their AMYGDALA is inefficient.
The Amydala is an “almond-shaped set of neurons located deep in the brain’s temporal lobe.” Science Daily
It’s believed to be have the significant responsibility of processing emotions.
Reisel also explains how modern science has detected that new brain cells can be developed in certain parts of the adult brain, including the Amygdala. Studies previous to the 1990’s had shown that the adult brain only has so many cells and cannot create more. Though this is a magnificent find in the study of neuroscience, Reisel describes that the process of developing new cells in the adult brain is halted by daily stress. However, the brain can grow and with the proper training, the Amygdala can grow and function properly for those who are lacking(i.e. Criminals).
Reisel ends the video by promoting the idea of developing an Amygdala rehabilitation program for criminals who will eventually be released back into society. The idea of this program is to strengthen the Amygdala by reducing stress caused by incarceration, which actually causes the Amygdala to shut down some. The goal is increase the empathy of the criminal so that when they are released, there is a lower chance of them committing another crime and a higher chance of becoming a normal person within society.
I think it’s fantastic idea, a rehab program for criminals. I also think that it could be extremely effective with people who have depression and anxiety!
Do you think a rehab program for criminals would be effective? Do you think it would make a good program for those with depression and/or anxiety? What thoughts do you have about the Amygdala and other parts of the brain? How do you feel about neuroscience?
Check out the Ted video here.
For more on neuroscience visit Society for Neuroscience.