Molecular neuroeconomics of crime and punishment: implications for neurolaw.

  Vol. 33 (7) 2012 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2012; 33(7): 667-673 PubMed PMID:  23391873    Citation  Keywords:  Brain Chemistry, Criminology:economics, Humans, Mental Disorders:economics, Models, Economic, Punishment, Risk-Taking,.   

: Criminal behaviors have been associated with risk, time and social preferences in economics (Becker 1968; Davis 1988), criminology (Chamlin & Cochran 1997), and neurolaw (Goodenough & Tucker 2010). This study proposes a molecular neuroeconomic framework for the investigation into crime and punishment. Neuroeconomic parameters (e.g., risk-attitude, probability weighting, time discounting in intertemporal choice, loss aversion, and social discounting) are predicted to be related to criminal behavior. Neurobiological and neuroendocrinological substrates such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, cortisol (a stress hormone), sex hormones (e.g., testosterone), and oxytocin in brain regions such as the orbitofrontal cortex, the amygdala, and the cingulate may be related to the neuroeconomic parameters governing criminal behaviors. The present framework may help us develop "neurolaw" based on molecular neuroeconomics of criminal and antisocial decision-making processes.

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