Author, neurocriminologist Raine to visit C of C

Is there a connection between violence and biology? Do people grow up to become killers because of physical predispositions? If yes, what are we to do with that information?

Adrian Raine, author of “The Anatomy of Violence,” will address those controversial questions and others when he appears at the College of Charleston for a lecture at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 in the auditorium of the School of Sciences and Mathematics Building, 202 Calhoun St.

The event is free and open to the public.

“Discussions on this issue can get very heated,” says Thomas Nadelhoffer, a College of Charleston philosophy professor specializing in neuroethics who recently reviewed Raine’s book for The Post and Courier.

“Adrian Raine is really challenging the theory that has been held for the past 50 years. He’s saying that environmental factors, like being abused as a child, are partly to blame for people becoming criminals, but that biology, like a low-resting heart rate, is also to blame. He goes even further in asking what policymakers are going to do about it.”

For more than three decades, Raine has been researching the biological roots of violence and establishing neurocriminology, a new field that applies neuroscience techniques to investigate the causes and cures of crime.

In “The Anatomy of Violence,” he argues that violent behavior has a biological basis just like depression or schizophrenia. This raises questions about treatment, accountability and punishment, including the death penalty.

Nadelhoffer has coordinated a neuroscience reading group. For more information, email him at