Neuroethics Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Human Brain Mapping





Start Page


Last Page





Very little is known on white collar crime and how it differs to other forms of offending. This study tests the hypothesis that white collar criminals have better executive functioning, enhanced information processing, and structural brain superiorities compared to offender controls. Using a case-control design, executive functioning, orienting, and cortical thickness was assessed in 21 white collar criminals matched with 21 controls on age, gender, ethnicity, and general level of criminal offending. White collar criminals had significantly better executive functioning, increased electrodermal orienting, increased arousal, and increased cortical gray matter thickness in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, somatosensory cortex, and the temporal-parietal junction compared to controls. Results, while initial, constitute the first findings on neurobiological characteristics of white-collar criminals It is hypothesized that white collar criminals have information-processing and brain superiorities that give them an advantage in perpetrating criminal offenses in occupational settings.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the article which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.


antisocial, ventromedial, inferior frontal, temporal-parietal, somatosensory, orienting, arousal, electrodermal


Date Posted: 16 February 2015

This document has been peer reviewed.