London: A German neurologist claims to have discovered the brain area where 'evil' lurks in killers, rapists and robbers. (Agencies)
Dr Gerhard Roth says the "evil patch" lies in the brain's central lobe and shows up as a dark mass on X-rays. Scans studied indicate that the patch he says is associated with wicked behaviour is found at the front of the brain.
Roth discovered it while investigating violent convicted offenders over the years for government studies, media reported.
"We showed these people short films and measured their brain waves," he said.
"Whenever there were brutal and squalid scenes the subjects showed no emotions. In the areas of the brain where we create compassion and sorrow, nothing happened," said Roth.
Roth said the dark mass at the front of the brain appears in all scans of people with records for criminal violence.
He said research has led him to believe that some criminals have a "genetic predisposition" to violence.
"When you look at the brain scans of hardened criminals, there are almost always severe shortcomings in the lower forehead part of the brain.
"There are cases where someone becomes criminal as a result of a tumour or an injury in that area, and after an operation to remove the tumour, that person was completely normal again," he added.
He said, "Or there are physiological deficits, because certain substances such as serotonin in the fore-brain are not working effectively."
"But this is definitely the region of the brain where evil is formed and where it lurks."
Roth believes no two criminals are alike. He divided them into three groups for the purposes of his hunt for evil.
The first he classifies as "psychologically healthy," people who grow up in an environment where it is "OK to beat, steal and murder".
The second type is the mentally disturbed criminal who looks at his world as threatening. The third group is pure "psycopaths", a group in which Hitler and Stalin belong.
London: A German neurologist claims to have discovered the brain area where 'evil' lurks in killers, rapists and robbers.