Fault trumps gruesome evidence when it comes to punishment

August 4, 2014 10:07 AM

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Fault trumps gruesome evidence when it comes to punishment

Issues of crime and punishment, vengeance and justice date back to the dawn of human history, but it is only in the last few years that scientists have begun exploring the basic nature of the complex neural processes in the brain that underlie these fundamental behaviors.

Now a new brain imaging study – published online Aug. 3 by the journal Nature Neuroscience – has identified the brain mechanisms that underlie our judgment of how severely a person who has harmed another should be punished. Specifically, the study determined how the area of the brain that determines...

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