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The Therapeutic Promise: Neuroprediction, Risk, the Violent Brain
Speaker: Oliver Rollins

Abstract: The seductive, yet elusive, goal of predicting criminal and violent behavior has gained greater scientific and popular appeal through the introduction of biotechnological and algorithmic tools. Focusing on neuroimaging research on antisocial behavior, this talk will outline the possibilities and pitfalls of the construct I call the “violent brain”—a new brain type focused on identifying potential criminals. Older critiques of this controversial research program (i.e deterministic, “pseudo-scientific” and/or racist) no longer fully capture its social and ethical impacts. The new “therapeutic promise” of the neuroscience of violence demonstrates how the imaginaries of neurobiological risk chase an ultimate goal of biomedical prediction. I argue that this neuro-speculative “mind reading” consequently expands target populations toward normal individuals at younger and healthier stages of life. The looming and underexamined danger of this technology concerns the inadvertent and normative ways it expands and authorizes corporeal surveillance tactics that bolster already problematic law enforcement practices through the guise of public health and safety.

Mar 4, 2022 12:30 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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