Futurity

Brain scans offer clues to extremist violence

New research uses brain scans to investigate how "sacred values" can motivate extremist violence.
purple grainy shot of back of man's head

To gain insight into the psychology of radicalization and terrorist violence, researchers scanned the brains of men who support a terrorist organization associated with Al Qaeda.

Artis International, a group of academics and policymakers, conducted the research with funding from the Minerva Program and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research of the US Department of Defense, and from the BIAL Foundation. The study appears in Royal Society Open Science.

Here, Scott Atran, an adjunct research professor at the University of Michigan’s Ford School and Institute for Social Research, details the findings and delves into the psychology of the respondents:

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