The Antisocial Brain: Psychopathy Matters: A Structural MRI Investigation of Antisocial Male Violent Offenders.

and Département de Psychiatrie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada (Dr Hodgins).
Archives of general psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.75). 05/2012; DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2012.222
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT CONTEXT: The population of men who display persistent antisocial and violent behavior is heterogeneous. Callous-unemotional traits in childhood and psychopathic traits in adulthood characterize a distinct subgroup. OBJECTIVE: To identify structural gray matter (GM) differences between persistent violent offenders who meet criteria for antisocial personality disorder and the syndrome of psychopathy (ASPD+P) and those meeting criteria only for ASPD (ASPD-P). DESIGN: Cross-sectional case-control structural magnetic resonance imaging study. SETTING: Inner-city probation services and neuroimaging research unit in London, England. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-six men, including 17 violent offenders with ASPD+P, 27 violent offenders with ASPD-P, and 22 healthy nonoffenders participated in the study. Forensic clinicians assessed participants using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Gray matter volumes as assessed by structural magnetic resonance imaging and volumetric voxel-based morphometry analyses. RESULTS: Offenders with ASPD+P displayed significantly reduced GM volumes bilaterally in the anterior rostral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 10) and temporal poles (Brodmann area 20/38) relative to offenders with ASPD-P and nonoffenders. These reductions were not attributable to substance use disorders. Offenders with ASPD-P exhibited GM volumes similar to the nonoffenders. CONCLUSIONS: Reduced GM volume within areas implicated in empathic processing, moral reasoning, and processing of prosocial emotions such as guilt and embarrassment may contribute to the profound abnormalities of social behavior observed in psychopathy. Evidence of robust structural brain differences between persistently violent men with and without psychopathy adds to the evidence that psychopathy represents a distinct phenotype. This knowledge may facilitate research into the etiology of persistent violent behavior.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Intergenerational continuities in criminal behaviour have been well documented, but the familial nature of psychopathic personality is less well understood. Aims To establish if there is an association between the psychopathic traits of a community sample of men and their offspring and whether psychosocial risk factors mediate this. Method Participants of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development (n = 478 dyads) were assessed for psychopathy using the PCL: SV. Multilevel regression models were used to investigate intergenerational continuity and mediation models examined indirect effects. Results The fathers' psychopathy was transmitted to both sons and daughters. The transmission of Factor 1 scores was mediated via the fathers' employment problems. For male offspring, the Factor 2 scores were mediated via the fathers' drug use, accommodation and employment problems. For female offspring, Factor 2 scores were mediated via the fathers' employment problems. Conclusions Understanding of the specific role of certain psychosocial risk factors may be useful in developing preventive measures for the development of psychopathy.
    The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science 11/2014; 206(1). DOI:10.1192/bjp.bp.114.151050 · 7.34 Impact Factor
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    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 12/2014; 24(5):368-72. DOI:10.1002/cbm.1917 · 1.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: En este trabajo se propone identificar posibles marcadores neurobiológicos que contribuyan a la propuesta de un modelo explicativo de la génesis del Trastorno de Personalidad Antisocial (TPA) y la psicopatía. Estos neuromarcadores incluyen las alteraciones morfofuncionales detectadas a través del análisis del Electroencefalograma (EEG) y del grosor cortical calculado a partir de las imágenes de Resonancia Magnética Nuclear (RMN). En el diseño del estudio se tuvo en cuenta dos limitaciones de estudios previos. Primero, la caracterización adecuada de las muestras de sujetos violentos mediante criterios y escalas estandarizadas, para el diagnóstico de TPA y psicopatía. Segundo, la selección de muestras controles, integradas por individuos violentos que se encuentren en prisión, sin TPA, ni psicopatía. Este trabajo se extendió al estudio de la población de mujeres reas violentas. Así como, propone otros parámetros descriptores del funcionamiento cerebral, con la inclusión del análisis cuantitativo del EEG (EEGq). Los resultados demostraron diferencias entre los reos violentos con y sin diagnóstico psiquiátrico, tanto para TPA como la psicopatía. El patrón de las anomalías difirió entre mujeres y hombres psicópatas. Los sujetos violentos con TPA y psicopatía presentan un déficit en el procesamiento emocional, dado el patrón de anomalías identificadas en el circuito paralímbico. El EEG y la RMN estructural, fueron útiles para identificar posibles neuromarcadores, asociados con estas entidades psicopatológicas.
    07/2014, Degree: PhD, Supervisor: Alfredo Alvarez Amador


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May 16, 2014