Researchers devise brain test to predict if kids may become criminals in future

A simple test has been devised by researchers that can tell if a child can become a criminal in future. The brain test is meant for three year olds and was conducted by neuro-scientists at
Researchers devise brain test to predict if kids...
India TV Lifestyle Desk New York December 20, 2016 11:02 IST

A simple test has been devised by researchers that can tell if a child can become a criminal in future. The brain test is meant for three year olds and was conducted by neuro-scientists at Duke University.

The scientists followed  more than 1,000 children of pre-school age until they were 38, to find out if it was possible to predict who would go on to lead troubled lives.

The study showed that those with the lowest scores (20 per cent) went on to commit more than 80 per cent of crimes as adults.

The test found that these children began their lives with mild problems with brain function and brain health.

The researchers indentified, bring brought up in a socio-economically deprived family, exposure to maltreatment, low intelligence quotient (IQ) and poor self-control as the risk factors that can cause poor outcomes in adults.

This principle, which worked in the field of computer science, biology, physics, economics, was also found to be true for societal burden.

By assessing a child's history -- beginning at age three -- of disadvantage, and particularly their brain health, one can predict where he or she might end up.

"Being able to predict which children will struggle is an opportunity to intervene in their lives very early to attempt to change their trajectories, for everyone's benefit and could bring big returns on investment for government," Terrie Moffitt, Professor at Duke University in North Carolina, was quoted as saying to the Telegraph.co.uk.

If problematic children could be targeted early, society could benefit hugely in the long term, the researchers noted in the study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

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