Dr Ian Mitchell, Dr Pia Rotshtein and Professor Anthony Beech have been awarded £388,000 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to fund research on the neuropsychological profiles of different types of sexual offenders.

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The project will define neurocognitive abnormalities in a large sample of sexual offenders with view to determining whether paedophiles, non-paedophilic child sex offenders, and those who commit sexual offences against adults, show idiosyncratic profiles which are related their drive to offend. Our preliminary studies have shown that groups of sex offenders and violent offenders differ in the way that they react to anxiety inducing stimuli and process emotional information.

It is anticipated that the work will enable the evolution of generic treatment strategies for sexual offenders into approaches more tailored to motivational factors underlying their offending behaviours.