Brain of male batterers functions differently than that of other delinquents, scientific evidence demonstrates

News Brief by Kathryn Gibb

          Researchers at the University of Grenada in Spain have been analyzing the differences in brain activity amongst aggressors of intimate partner violence compared to the brain activity of other criminals.  The researchers monitored brain activity using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), while showing study participants images of intimate partner violence and neutral images.  The findings demonstrated that there was greater activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and in the medial prefrontal cortex. Additionally, batterers had less activity in the superior frontal cortex than other criminals. These differences in brain activity provide potential explanations for batterers’ descriptions of problems with emotion regulation such as extreme fear, anger or rage, maladaptive coping strategies, or obsessive tendencies.

          These researchers have also conducted research on women who are victims of intimate partner violence. Their research has attempted to expand the existing research on victims, to not only focus on the physical and psychological disorders, but rather the harmful effects of abuse on the brain. These alterations in the brain may be caused by direct violence to the head, or also psychological stress. This research by the team at the University of Grenada is ongoing and hopes to provide further information for rehabilitation programs for female victims.

 

Citation: University of Granada. "Brain of male batterers functions differently than that     of other delinquents, scientific evidence demonstrates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14   April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/16041408