Can brain scans be used to detect pedophiles?

by Deborah Braconnier report

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry describes how the use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery, or fMRI, is able to detect and diagnose pedophilia with greater accuracy than current options.

The researchers looked at the different of participants when they were shown photographs of naked children and adults. The participants included 32 healthy male volunteers and 24 acknowledged pedophiles. The pedophile group consisted of 13 homosexual pedophiles and 11 that were attracted to young girls. The healthy subjects consisted of 18 and 14 .

The participants were placed in an and shown a series of 490 random pictures. Within these pictures were photos of both adults and children shown in full frontal views, facial pictures, or photos of the genitals only.

The researchers looked at the regions of the brain that were activated when participants were shown the photos and found the responses in the regions of sexual impulses and arousal were quite different between the four groups. The only group which did not show a distinct difference in the area of arousal was the heterosexual pedophiles however there brain did show a distinctly different response when shown the pictures of female children. The results, when plotted, show a distinct difference between the pedophile and the control group.

While this new test is the first time has been used to detect pedophiles, it is not clear exactly what the scans are measuring. While the pedophile group showed the same activity, it is unclear if the activity is related to sexual attraction or guilt because of what they have done.

Researchers are hoping this new test could be an important tool to courts in determining if treatment is working and if an individual is safe to return to society.

More information: Assessment of Pedophilia Using Hemodynamic Brain Response to Sexual Stimuli, Arch Gen Psychiatry. Published online October 3, 2011. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.130

Abstract
Context Accurately assessing sexual preference is important in the treatment of child sex offenders. Phallometry is the standard method to identify sexual preference; however, this measure has been criticized for its intrusiveness and limited reliability.
Objective  To evaluate whether spatial response pattern to sexual stimuli as revealed by a change in the blood oxygen level–dependent signal facilitates the identification of pedophiles.
Design  During functional magnetic resonance imaging, pedophilic and nonpedophilic participants were briefly exposed to same- and opposite-sex images of nude children and adults. We calculated differences in blood oxygen level–dependent signals to child and adult sexual stimuli for each participant. The corresponding contrast images were entered into a group analysis to calculate whole-brain difference maps between groups. We calculated an expression value that corresponded to the group result for each participant. These expression values were submitted to 2 different classification algorithms: Fisher linear discriminant analysis and -nearest neighbor analysis. This classification procedure was cross-validated using the leave-one-out method.
Setting  Section of Sexual Medicine, Medical School, Christian Albrechts University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany.
Participants  We recruited 24 participants with pedophilia who were sexually attracted to either prepubescent girls (n = 11) or prepubescent boys (n = 13) and 32 healthy male controls who were sexually attracted to either adult women (n = 18) or adult men (n = 14).
Main Outcome Measures  Sensitivity and specificity scores of the 2 classification algorithms.
Results  The highest classification accuracy was achieved by Fisher linear discriminant analysis, which showed a mean accuracy of 95% (100% specificity, 88% sensitivity).
Conclusions  Functional brain response patterns to sexual stimuli contain sufficient information to identify pedophiles with high accuracy. The automatic classification of these patterns is a promising objective tool to clinically diagnose pedophilia.

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Jeddy_Mctedder
5 / 5 (3) Oct 07, 2011
ah yea, typical how pseudo science progresses towards making money off of ambiguous information.

mri science has been nothing of the sort. it is selling a bill of good ( understanding consiousness ) when in fact it is no more than an activation picture of water and blood activity in the brain. the 'correlations' are not causation in this system, but selling this fiction for 30 years has been a reliable way of drumming up wads of funding frokm private public sources and from the 'mri' industry in healthcare.

i've had more than one mri radiologist admit to me in private than more than 95% of mri pictures taken are completely unneccessary and just done for making money.
droid001
not rated yet Oct 07, 2011
Yes we can. Let's start from politicians.
Nanobanano
5 / 5 (2) Oct 07, 2011
i've had more than one mri radiologist admit to me in private than more than 95% of mri pictures taken are completely unneccessary and just done for making money.


Around here, when an MRI is done, they often have to send it to a "specialist" to read it, and it takes days or weeks to get the results back, with some exceptions.

From watching Mystery Diagnosis, and from my impressions of articles on here over the years, it appears this is not the case elsewhere. Apparantly anyone with decent training in the related fields can use and "read" an MRI.

Maybe it's just the way insurance and "specialized" medicine has become that they have to insert another "expert" so as to charge the patient more money or something.
freethinking
1 / 5 (11) Oct 07, 2011
Interesting tidbit for people. Studies have shown that homosexual have between 30-50 times higher rate of pedophilia than heterosexuals.

Using this study (granted I don't know how they the pedophiles where choosen) Using this study as a sample, if I did my math right, the odds of being a pedophile as a homosexual is 58 times higher than being a hetrosexual pedophile.
CHollman82
not rated yet Oct 07, 2011
I really wish this psychiatry and psychology nonsense wasn't linked to physorg...
Rogue
5 / 5 (6) Oct 07, 2011
@freethinking: 50 men in study sample, so where can 58 times come into it? You'd need at least 58 in one group to 1 in the other.

Plus, this isn't a study in percentages of occurrance so you don't make any sense. I think you've showed your card in presenting false information to further an agenda rather than anything remotely believable.
HealingMindN
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 07, 2011
Yes we can. Let's start from politicians.


and catholic priests
xxxxxxxx
5 / 5 (3) Oct 07, 2011
Now, I am in no way defending pedophiles here, but I see this as
a way to start the worse invasion of privacy ever. Have you ever
thought of strangling some evil politician or thought of driving your
car real fast? All of these are "potential crimes". It will be way past
1984, if these kind of scans become mandatory.
With the powers that the President has given himself, he could say,
I don't like your brain scan so off with your head.
FreeWillInQuestion
not rated yet Oct 07, 2011
So if the brain scans show pedophilia has distinct activity from normal brains. Doesn't it also imply that pedophilia is due to hard-wiring of the brain, rather than the pseudo-scientific notion, free will or "Free choice" having anything to do with these individuals actions. Thus, pedophiles are not morally responsible for their acts. I don't think it's being interpreted this way, but it should be at least raising the question. Personally I think free-will is the most destructive FALSE idea humanity holds at the present moment. Churches, courts and ignorant people continue to promote it though in their bloodlust for retribution and vengeance.
Skepticus
not rated yet Oct 08, 2011
I hope the researchers are using materials from law enforcement agencies otherwise they are guilty of handling child porno..
kochevnik
1.5 / 5 (2) Oct 08, 2011
Catholics have polluted the language once again. Pedophilia is the love of children. There is nothing wrong with that. A pederast is someone who molests children, in reverence to the Catholic god Moloch - the god of child molestation. The original priests murdered children outright. Later molestation became the norm, as so not to deprive the king of serfs and mind-controlled multiple personalities able to unknowingly carry on secret acts of subterfuge. Priests testified they are not pedophiles. They are correct. They view children as prey, not beings that need nurturing.
kochevnik
5 / 5 (3) Oct 08, 2011
Interesting tidbit for people. Studies have shown that homosexual have between 30-50 times higher rate of pedophilia than heterosexuals
Link?
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2011
Doesn't it also imply that pedophilia is due to hard-wiring of the brain, rather than the pseudo-scientific notion, free will or "Free choice" having anything to do with these individuals actions. Thus, pedophiles are not morally responsible for their acts.


Pedophilia means the attraction, not the acts. Of course it is due to hard-wiring of the brain, and it is not a choice, since sexual attraction cannot be chosen or controlled, nor is there a known cure. Being a pedophile is not against the law.

Actual child molestation is where a conscious choice enters the picture, and its this what "practicing" pedophiles get convinced for. It is really no different in principle than with normal heterosexual people. They can feel an urge to have sex with someone, but it is the act of having sex without informed consent that gets them into prison.

ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2011
As for the notion of free will, I really dont want to get into philosophical debates here. Lets just say that I prefer justice systems build around punishments aimed to ensure safety and rehabilitation instead of those based on vengeance and retribution.
Nanobanano
5 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2011
Personally I think free-will is the most destructive FALSE idea humanity holds at the present moment. Churches, courts and ignorant people continue to promote it though in their bloodlust for retribution and vengeance.


Well, you are a hypocrite then.

If there is no free will, those people who believe in free will cannot be held responsible for their belief in free will nor any negative beliefs that arise from that condition. They were born that way, and deterministic reality made them have the wrong impression of free will. Ignorance is irrelevant either way.

Calling you a hypocrite is also meaningless, but if everything is deterministic, then it was "meant to be" and I cannot help it either, but by your logic, I'm not responsible for that either. Fate made me do it.
hush1
5 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2011
The lie detector goes visual? lol
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2011
Actual child molestation is where a conscious choice enters the picture, and its this what "practicing" pedophiles get convinced for.
Literally a parent is a "practicing" pedophile. A child-molesting priest is a pederast. The Vatican has deliberately polluted the language so as to blur the lines between love and molestation. The Catholic god Moloch requires sacrifice. Originally this was burning children alive. Later sexual assault and disemboweling on the altar over the Roman necropolis was practiced. In the eleventh century ritualized sexual molestation replaced the altar, and Moloch became popularized as "the devil" in Vatican cannon. Some forms of molestation, such as circumcision, are still openly displayed.
Omar_Salah
not rated yet Oct 08, 2011
@ShotmanMaslo for one, since when is pedophilia a sexual attraction? We've been told many times that it is about power, and that pedophiles pick on the weak and helpless to exert that power. Are we back to sexuality now? Or is one paradigm more useful for police budget, while the other benefits the medical industry? And on a different note, pedophilia might not be technically illegal, but it is illegal in practice. For an example, the law makes it clear that the possession of any images or videos of minors are illegal to possess if they are used for sexual purposes (masturbation) regardless of whether they are in any way pornographic. I remember one major "child pornography bust" that was reported in the news a few years back, and it turns out to be a website with photos of children in parks and on the beach.

There is no prospect of preventing child sex abuse in the future simply because there is no true incentive to understand the disorder. It is a banner to rally the people behind.
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Oct 08, 2011
@ShotmanMaslo for one, since when is pedophilia a sexual attraction? We've been told many times that it is about power, and that pedophiles pick on the weak and helpless to exert that power. Are we back to sexuality now?


hm, I dont know who told you that, but that sounds more like the definition of bdsm or something, not pedophilia. Pedophilia is defined as sexual attraction to prepubescent children.

And on a different note, pedophilia might not be technically illegal, but it is illegal in practice. For an example, the law makes it clear that the possession of any images or videos of minors are illegal to possess if they are used for sexual purposes (masturbation) regardless of whether they are in any way pornographic.


I think the law around the world may vary when it comes to border cases like this. Anyway, we are on the same page here, it is the practicing of pedophilia that is illegal, not pedophilia (attraction) itself. Thats where the conscious choice is.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (2) Oct 08, 2011
Pedophilia is defined as sexual attraction to prepubescent children.
pedophilia 1905, from Gk. pais (gen. paidos) "child" (see pedo-) philos "loving." First attested in Havelock Ellis.

Newspeak and doublespeak are Brave New World tools of the Vatican and their bankster buddies in the City of London. I'm not a debt slave or believer in reanimated Jewish zombies on sticks, so I'll stick with the real, original meaning of the word. Thanks.
GenesisNemesis
not rated yet Oct 08, 2011
Personally I think free-will is the most destructive FALSE idea humanity holds at the present moment. Churches, courts and ignorant people continue to promote it though in their bloodlust for retribution and vengeance.


Well, you are a hypocrite then.

If there is no free will, those people who believe in free will cannot be held responsible for their belief in free will nor any negative beliefs that arise from that condition. They were born that way, and deterministic reality made them have the wrong impression of free will. Ignorance is irrelevant either way.

Calling you a hypocrite is also meaningless, but if everything is deterministic, then it was "meant to be" and I cannot help it either, but by your logic, I'm not responsible for that either. Fate made me do it.


This is a common misunderstanding. Determinism is not the same as predeterminism. Determinism only means there are causal relatationships. Indeterminism (free will) means no causal relationships.
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
Indeterminism (free will) means no causal relationships.


That does not necessarily imply free will. Quantum randomness is supposed to be indeterministic, yet it does not give rise to "free will".
GenesisNemesis
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
Indeterminism (free will) means no causal relationships.


That does not necessarily imply free will. Quantum randomness is supposed to be indeterministic, yet it does not give rise to "free will".


I didn't have enough words to fully explain what I meant. What I meant was that it is generally believed that free will is indeterministic, hence the conflict between free will and determinism.
hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
Simplify. So the definition you want becomes a working definition of science.

You only need one assumption to introduce free will.
The assumption that randomness exists.

If randomness exists, then all else follows.

And randomness enjoys universality among all the sciences.
And randomness enjoys definitions bestowed on it from any branch of science utilizing the assumption of its' existence.

The definition of free will is:
The associations established from any physical event manifesting as a form of energy distributed within a brain's neuronal networks or pathways.

There. Now. That wasn't so hard after all, was it?

Which pretty much puts a cap on a super nasty word:
Subjectivity.

Energy has infinite form and shape. What does that mean? It means whatever label energy is given by definition, no shape or form alters that energy. (Energy is conserve).

In other words if energy (in whatever form or shape)reaches your brain and is distributed there, the energy itself is unaltered. :)
hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
There is nothing subjective about that.

The only 'thing' you can call 'subjective' are the associations (neuronal pathways) - (whose origins are energy as well) - that are paired with the incoming energy being distributed.

There. Now. Was that so hard? No Dogma. No future centuries of hopeless linguistic or mathematical acrobatics.

Are you all disappointed all this ended here? I'm not.
hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
Addendum in CAPS:

The only 'thing' you can call 'subjective' are the associations (neuronal pathways) - (whose origins are energy as well) - that are paired UNIQUELY with the incoming energy being distributed.
hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
So red is red after all - the same for everyone. The same energy at specified wavelength.

That energy distributed among your brain's associations so you can proudly claim:
"My red is different from your red!"

And what you really mean is:
"My associations make my senses of perception different from yours! My associations are unique, like a finger print!"

True.
hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
Digressing no further:
If randomness exist, then free will follows.
You are free. Free to manipulate lie detectors and fMRIs.
Science and you are free to manipulate your respective associations. Randomness or not. You decide. That is your will, free or not.
hard2grep
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
We are judged by our actions. If I want to rob a bank, but do not do it, then I have not robbed a bank. The subject matter here is easily manipulated by its very nature. I am not saying that it is a good thing to have these kinds of thoughts, but labeling people on what is on the inside defeats the very nature of choice and free will.As horrid as a subject can be, you never want to remove choice from the equation.

I wonder if the government could implement the dirty work for us...
hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
Mathematically you are a bounded interval. The points (associations) of that interval may be infinite, you remain bounded.
The 'physics' of that is:
The bound is the conservation of energy. The infinite associations are the forms and shapes energy is allowed.

I understand your words. I will play devil's advocate:

We are judged by our actions. - hard2rep

If this is so, then to ask about motivations behind an action is inadmissible. 'What was his motive?' becomes inadmissible.

If I want to rob a bank, but do not do it, then I have not robbed a bank. The subject matter here is easily manipulated by its very nature. - hard2rep

Not the subject matter changes (robbing remains robbing), the associations you associate robbing with, is by associations' very nature subject to manipulation.
I am not saying that it is a good thing to have these kinds of thoughts...

I am saying any thought is good - extending associations.

cont...
hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
...labeling people on what is on the inside defeats the very nature of choice and free will. - hard2rep


Labeling associations is useless? To understand "the very nature of choice and free will" is to understand the associations that creates choice and free will. That is victory not defeat.

As horrid as a subject can be, you never want to remove choice from the equation. - hard2rep

As horrid as a subject can be, it is NOT possible to remove choice from the equation.

I have played devil's advocate. I had fun. Perhaps you have gained insight. I have from you.

I do not understand your last sentence. I do not know what is to understand under "dirty work".

hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
Typo corrections in CAPS:
The infinite associations are the forms and shapes OF energy PERMISSIBLE UNDER PHYSICAL PARAMETERS OF RESOLUTION. - Hush
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Oct 09, 2011
Indeterminism (free will) means no causal relationships.
That does not necessarily imply free will. Quantum randomness is supposed to be indeterministic, yet it does not give rise to "free will".
I fail to see how that follows, given the very effect of free will would generate apparent randomness. Moreover QM assumes infinite dimensional matrix space and no geometry, and the grapevine cluster is the most popular conception of nuclei. Yet experiments point to a higher order. In fact phases of matter and the persistence of "magic numbers" hint at a higher-dimensional geometric structure, which necessarily dictates preference of some states over others.
hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
Assigning randomness a purpose is risky. Assigning randomness to a function is safer. Just see what the function exhibits if one of variables of the function is a place holder for randomness.

Hyper-symmetric and super-symmetric structures excludes randomness. Today's physics needs symmetry breaking.
A symmetry having intrinsic "preference" is strange indeed.

Our reasons for disagreeing with ShotmanMaslo differ.
hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
Perhaps ShotmanMaslo might agree to lessen his demand:
Quantum randomness (?) harbors an indeterminacy that suggests the existence of "free will".

I find the necessary and sufficient conditions to "give rise" or "imply" free will in QM Information Theory.
It is not complete.
FrankHerbert
1.4 / 5 (10) Oct 09, 2011
Can neutron repulsion be used to detect pedophiles? (Yes.)
hush1
not rated yet Oct 09, 2011
lol FH
An interesting case study.

the persistence of "magic numbers" hint at a higher-dimensional geometric structure - kochevnik

This statement makes no sense to me. Sorry.

ShotmanMaslo/kockenvnik - too vague are your comments.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (3) Oct 09, 2011
Child abuse is ingrained in Christianity and Islam. I suspect they are the breeding grounds for pederasts. Religion originally began with sacred sex, often including children. However these were the mores of the society at the time. The god Atun created the world in an act of masturbation. Semen and breast milk were sacred fluids. Sacred sex was induction into adulthood. The twisting of religion over centuries perverted the origins of religion, and sex became the enemy. Children are the easiest targets of twisted religious amalgamations like Catholicism that have lost their roots, and in so doing lash out in ritualized hatred of nature and humanity.

@hush1 Actually the grapevine model of the nucleus is vague, featureless, random and unsupported by experimental results.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (4) Oct 10, 2011
Speaking of lashing out with hate, kochevnik seems to be reaching insane levels of hate.

Moloch was a Jewish god and has nothing to do with Catholicism.

http://en.wikiped...i/Moloch

Pedophilia is a PSYCHIATRIC or LEGAL term and has nothing to do with Catholicism.

http://en.wikiped...dophilia

There are many things wrong in many religions but making shit up like you are doing is just plain hate filled lies.

What the hell is the matter with you?

Ethelred