There are tremendous ethical and political confounds that are associated with relying on neuroscience as a means detecting crime etiology and its use in policy formation. Understanding the fundamentals between the brain and environmental interactions needs to be standardized before such implementation could occur.
Neuroethics can be defined as the ethics behind neuroscience research and the moral implications of its results and applications. Neuropolitics can be loosely defined as the political impact of policy makers to make such policies based on the advantages and disadvantages in neuroscience and its social impact. In short, neuroimaging would not only be a scientific process but also a political and ethical one.
This growing field is extremely vast as its research examines the entire domain of biology, neuroscience and crime collectively. This task is multifaceted and as such this “biocriminological” research can only predict correlations rather than causations.
As such, a criminal defendant would still be able to argue reasonable doubt against an fMRI lie detector, as the results are not definitive, converse to DNA identification. On an ethical level, question still remains as to whether or not there is precise definition of lying.
Likewise, is there a state of lying in every human being, no matter race, religion, social status, sexual orientation, etc., that is universal? It is clear that this area of neurocriminology is largely unexplored and more research must be conducted such that improvements in accuracy may lead to complementary lie detection methods coupled with today’s standardized methods. This emerging field is still very new, and without much research to date, all that is formulated results in theories and speculation for the future.
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