Brain abnormalities in antisocial individuals: implications for the law
ABSTRACT With the increasing popularity in the use of brain imaging on antisocial individuals, an increasing number of brain imaging studies have revealed structural and functional impairments in antisocial, psychopathic, and violent individuals. This review summarizes key findings from brain imaging studies on antisocial/aggressive behavior. Key regions commonly found to be impaired in antisocial populations include the prefrontal cortex (particularly orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), superior temporal gyrus, amygdala-hippocampal complex, and anterior cingulate cortex. Key functions of these regions are reviewed to provide a better understanding on how deficits in these regions may predispose to antisocial behavior. Objections to the use of imaging findings in a legal context are outlined, and alternative perspectives raised. It is argued that brain dysfunction is a risk factor for antisocial behavior and that it is likely that imaging will play an increasing (albeit limited) role in legal decision-making.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Andrea L Glenn, Nov 28, 2014
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ABSTRACT: The assessment of antisocial and psychopathic personalities presents special challenges for the forensic evaluator. This chapter emphasizes use of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), Rorschach, and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) for a comprehensive evaluation of these patients. These measures lend incremental validity to understanding these difficult patients, especially when combined with testing of intelligence and cognitive functioning. Integrating data from multiple domains is essential to answering the psycholegal and forensic treatment questions surrounding the antisocial and psychopathic patient. The forensically trained clinical psychologist is best suited to assess psychopathy, a task that historically has been overlooked or avoided in traditional mental health settings.
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ABSTRACT: The genetics of the accused is trying to break into the courts. To date several candidate genes have been put forward and their links to antisocial behavior have been examined and documented with some consistency. In this paper, we focus on the so called "warrior gene", or the low-activity allele of the MAOA gene, which has been most consistently related to human behavior and specifically to violence and antisocial behavior. In preparing this paper we had two objectives. First, to summarize and analyze the current scientific evidence, in order to gain an in depth understanding of the state of the issue and determine whether a dominant line of generally accepted scientific knowledge in this field can be asserted. Second, to derive conclusions and put forward recommendations related to the use of genetic information, specifically the presence of the low-activity genotype of the MAOA gene, in modulation of criminal responsibility in European and US courts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 02/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ijlp.2015.01.022 · 1.19 Impact Factor