Adrian Raine

(Retired 2023) Adrian Raine is the Richard Perry University Professor of Criminology, Psychiatry and Psychology. With appointments in the School of Arts & Sciences and in the Perelman School of Medicine, Raine works at the intersection of criminology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychology.


Criminology, Psychiatry & Psychology

adrian raine at claudia cohen hall

(Retired 2023) Adrian Raine continually overturns assumptions about causes and cures for violent criminal behavior. His globe-spanning research has revealed previously unrecognized risk factors in violent offenders’ brains, genes, physiology, and pre-natal and early life nutritional status. Within that data, Raine sees not biological determinism but grounds for hope in taking a public health approach to the global problem of criminal violence.

President of the Academy of Experimental Criminology and one of the founders of the new field of neurocriminology, Raine believes that countless lives and dollars lost to criminal violence could be saved by emphasizing prevention over punishment and rehabilitation over retribution. His 2013 book, The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime, offers a vivid tour of research on the biological origins of violent criminal behavior and shares evidence-based prevention approaches. Translated into six languages soon after publication, his book explores ethically and legally challenging considerations for screening, prevention, rehabilitation and criminal justice if violent crime is considered a treatable clinical disorder.

Raine’s paradigm-shifting discoveries include the first brain imaging study of murderers and the earliest documentation of a structural brain abnormality in criminal offenders. His early research challenged criminologists to look beyond social and environmental factors to assess biological influences on violent behavior, as well. Raine’s early focus on the nature side of the nature-nurture equation, once vilified, is now supported by hundreds of studies on its equivalent impact. A fellow of the American Psychological Society, Raine publishes in Nature Reviews NeuroscienceJAMA PsychiatryCriminologyInternational Journal of Epidemiology and Human Brain Mapping.

An award-winning teacher and dynamic mentor, Raine engages many undergraduates in his research in the city of Philadelphia on the benefits of enhanced early childhood nutrition, exercise and cognitive stimulation. Together, they have amassed compelling evidence that the most effective, affordable way to reduce future crime is to invest in the early years of life, when a child’s brain is growing and developing.

  • Neurocriminology
  • Biosocial risk factors for antisocial, violent, and psychopathic behavior
  • Nutritional and cognitive treatment programs for aggressive behavior
  • Reactive and proactive aggression
  • Schizotypal personality
  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Neuroethics
  • Brain imaging
  • Psychophysiology
  • Behavioral and molecular genetics
  • Neurocognition

Books (Selected)

Psychopathy: A Guide to Biological Findings and Their Implications (with A. Glenn), 2014

The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime, 2013 

Crime and Schizophrenia: Causes and Cures, 2006

Academic Writings (Selected)

Raine, A., Portnoy, J., Liu, J., Mahoomed, T., and Hibbeln, J(2015). Reduction in behavior problems with omega-3 supplementation in children aged 8-16 years: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, stratified, parallel-group trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 56 509-520

Raine, A., Portnoy, J., Liu, J., Mahoomed, T., and Hibbeln, J(2015). Reduction in behavior problems with omega-3 supplementation in children aged 8-16 years: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, stratified, parallel-group trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 56 509-520

Raine, A., Leung, C.C., Singh, M. and Kaur, J. (2020). Omega-3 Supplementation in Young Offenders: A Randomized, Stratified, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Trial. Journal of Experimental Criminology 16 389-405

Raine, A., Cheney, R., Ho, R., Portnoy, P., Liu, J., Soyfer, L., Hibbeln, J., and Richmond, T. (2016). Nutritional supplementation to reduce child aggression: A randomized, stratified, single-blind, factorial trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57 1038-1046.

Raine, A., Ang, R.P., Choy, O., Hibbeln, J., Ho, R.M.H., Y.R., Lim, C.G., Lim-Ashworth, N.S.J., Ling, S., Liu, J.C.J.; Ooi, Y.P., Tan, Y.R., and Fung, D.S.S. (2019). Omega-3 and social skills interventions for reactive aggression and childhood externalizing behavior problems: A randomized, stratified, double-blind, placebo-controlled, factorial trial. Psychological Medicine 49 335-344.

Raine, A. and Venables, P.H. (2017). Adolescent daytime sleepiness as a risk factor for adult crime. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 58 728-735.

Raine, A. (2019). The neuromoral theory of antisocial, violent, and psychopathic behavior. Psychiatry Research 277 64-69

Choy, O., Raine, A., and Hamilton, R.H. (2018). Stimulation of the Prefrontal Cortex Reduces Intensions to Commit Violence: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Stratifies, Parallel Group Trial. Journal of Neuroscience 38 6505-6512.

Raine, A., Portnoy, J., Jianghong Liu, J., Mahoomed, T., and Hibbeln, J(in press). Reduction in behavior problems with omega-3 supplementation in children aged 8-16 years: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, stratified, parallel-group trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Glenn, A.L. and Raine, A. (2014) Neurocriminology: Implications for the punishment, prediction and prevention of criminal behavior. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 15 54-63.

Portnoy, J., Raine, A., Chen, F.R., Pardini, D., Loeber, R. and Jennings, R. (2014). Heart rate and antisocial behavior: The mediating role of impulsive sensation seeking. Criminology 52 292-311

Raine, A., Laufer, W. S., Yang, Y., Narr, K. L., Thompson. P. and Toga, A.W. (2012). Increased executive functioning, attention, and cortical thickness in white-collar criminals.  Human Brain Mapping. 33, 2932-2940.

For a list of all of Raine's publications, view his CV. 

Editorials (Selected)

"Unlocking Crime Using Biological Keys,", May 3, 2013

"The Criminal Mind," The Washington Post, April 26, 2013

"What Made the Boston Bombers Do It," The Daily Beast, May 3, 2013


Interviews & Features (Selected)

"Calm Hearts, Bad Behavior," The New Yorker, August 2, 2014

"Natural Born Killers," The New York Times, June 21, 2013

"Adrian Raine Says He Can Predict If You'll Be A Criminal," Vice,  June 5, 2013

"Criminologist Believes Violent Behavior is Biological," NPR Books, April 30, 2013 [podcast]

"Q+A: Criminologist Adrian Raine on the Biology of Violence," Time, April 23, 2013

"Secrets of the Criminal Mind," Scientific American, May 7, 2013

"Penn Professor's Book Inspires TV Show," The Daily Pennsylvanian, May 25, 2013

"Can Brain Scans Explain Crime," Washington Post, June 7, 2013

"This Cold-Blooded Murderer Could Help Prove There's A 'Killer Gene,'"Business Insider, June 4, 2013

"The Anatomy of Violence by Adrian Raine: Natural Born Killers?NewStatesman, May 15, 2013

"The Anatomist of Crime,The Pennsylvania Gazette, October 28, 2013

"Criminal Minds Are Different From Yours, Brain Scans Reveal," Live Science, March 04, 2011

"Brain Abnormality May Cause Criminal Behavior," The Daily Pennsylvanian,  March 17, 2011

"Criminal Minds," The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 12, 2011

"Q+A: Adrian Raine," Penn Current, March 27, 2008

"Markers For Crime Raise Thorny Questions," The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 1, 2013


Videos (Selected)

"Neurobiology of Violence: Neuroethical and Neurolegal Implications," University of Missouri Lecture Series, May 8, 2013

"Crime and Violence: The Biology Behind Murder,CBS News, May 6, 2013

"A Killer's Brain: Scans Look for Clues to Violence," University of Pennsylvania, July 16, 2013

"The Biological Roots of Violence," Sanjay Gupta, May 2, 2013

"Why Do People Kill? Crime, Biology Explored in Book," CBS This Morning, May 1, 2013

"Execution," Penn Arts & Sciences, 60 Second Lecture Series, November 28, 2012

2020:  International Fellowship, Royal Society of New Zealand.

2020: Joan McCord Award, American Society of Criminology’s Division of Experimental Criminology and Academy of Experimental Criminology (for “distinguished experimental contributions to criminology and criminal justice”).

2018: Charles Ludwig Distinguished Teaching Award (for “Extraordinary commitment to the engagement of students as active and interactive participants in the learning process”, School of Arts and Sciences,   University of Pennsylvania.

2017: Lifetime Achievement Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. (“in recognition of pioneering contributions to the scientific understanding of psychopathy”).

2017: Founding Chair, Division of Biopsychosocial Criminology, American Society of Criminology.

2015: D.Univ. (Honorary Degree), University of York, U.K.

2014: The Athenaeum Literary Award (book award for The Anatomy of Violence).

2013: President, Academy of Experimental Criminology.

Richard C. Perry


“I am delighted to support the President's ambitious plans for Penn. By attracting world-class faculty and building on Penn's interdisciplinary strength, this program will serve as a catalyst for transforming the University.”  

- Richard Perry

Richard Perry, W'77, gave the inaugural gift in support of the Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) initiative, a cornerstone of President Amy Gutmann’s vision for propelling Penn from excellence to eminence. His 2005 commitment endowed four Richard Perry University Professorships. Richard Perry is a member of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees.

  • D.Phil., York University (Psychology)
  • M.A., Jesus College, Oxford University (Experimental Psychology)
  • ​B.A., Jesus College, Oxford University (Experimental Psychology)


University Service
Professional Positions & Affiliations
  • Academy of Experimental Criminology, president 
  • American Psychological Society, fellow
  • Executive Board of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, ​member
Additional Penn Profiles

Penn Arts & Sciences

3809 Walnut St, Room 204

Philadelphia, PA 19104

215.746.2198 (O)

Department of Criminology
3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104