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Abstract: Attentional Bias in Pedophiles: Implications for Assessment and Treatment

The lecture will present results from a series of studies on attentional biases in pedophiles and sexual offenders who have committed offences against children. Several different cognitive/attentional tests were used and the issues of incremental validity will be addressed. Finally, a new line of research investigating the possibility of using transcranial direct current stimulation in increasing behavioral control in pedophiles will be presented.

Professor Pekka Santtila is Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Psychology and Theology at the Åbo Akademi University (Finland) and Professor of Applied Psychology. He has published over 150 scientific works and currently has an h-index of 34 (Google Scholar, 24.6.2016). Professor Santtila has directed several Academy of Finland research projects as a Principal Investigator (1.3 Million Euros in total) and as a Co-Applicant (4.3 Million Euros in total). He has co-directed a major Internal Centre of Excellence on behavior genetics at the Åbo Akademi University with extensive international networks. This centre has conducted extensive data collections on sexuality and aggression related phenotypes together with the collection of DNA and hormonal samples. The analyses from this data collection are on-going and it has resulted in a number of further externally funded projects. Professor Santtila has published behavior genetic studies on, amongst other topics, gender atypical behavior, same-sex sexual attraction and behavior, body-mass index, aggressive behavior and alcohol use. He has also published evolutionary psychological papers on incest avoidance.