"From both law and ethics, very important questions have yet to be answered"

Gerben Meynen on neuromodulation of the criminal brain

Research into biological causes of criminal behaviour was once controversial, but this taboo seems to have largely disappeared in recent decades. The Pieter Baan Centre, where suspects of serious crimes are examined by behavioural experts, advocates the more frequent use of brain scans in court. Because brain damage could explain a significant part of criminal behaviour, and also predict the likelihood of recidivism. In addition, brain stimulation - or active intervention in the brain of (potential) offenders - could counteract aggressive behaviour and thus play a role in crime prevention and the resocialisation of convicted offenders. Gerben Meynen, professor of forensic psychiatry, and researcher Sjors Ligthart (both attached to the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Justice Sciences) spoke on Nieuwsuur about the possibilities and pitfalls of forensic neurotechnology.

Watch the edition of Nieuwsuur on 17 oktober 2022

Gerben Meynen is professor of Forensic Psychiatry at the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Justice Sciences. His research focuses in particular on imputability and neural law.

Sjors Ligthart is a postdoc on the NWO's Law and Ethics of Neurotechnology in Criminal Justice (LENC) project, in which ethicists and legal experts are jointly researching responsible use of neurotechnology in criminal justice to reduce recidivism.