Spatial but not verbal cognitive deficits at age 3 years in persistently antisocial individuals

Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, 90089-1061, USA.
Development and Psychopathology (Impact Factor: 4.89). 02/2002; 14(1):25-44. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579402001025
Source: PubMed


Previous studies have repeatedly shown verbal intelligence deficits in adolescent antisocial individuals, but it is not known whether these deficits are in place prior to kindergarten or, alternatively, whether they are acquired throughout childhood. This study assesses whether cognitive deficits occur as early as age 3 years and whether they are specific to persistently antisocial individuals. Verbal and spatial abilities were assessed at ages 3 and 11 years in 330 male and female children, while antisocial behavior was assessed at ages 8 and 17 years. Persistently antisocial individuals (N = 47) had spatial deficits in the absence of verbal deficits at age 3 years compared to comparisons (N = 133), and also spatial and verbal deficits at age 11 years. Age 3 spatial deficits were independent of social adversity, early hyperactivity, poor test motivation, poor test comprehension, and social discomfort during testing, and they were found in females as well as males. Findings suggest that early spatial deficits contribute to persistent antisocial behavior whereas verbal deficits are developmentally acquired. An early-starter model is proposed whereby early spatial impairments interfere with early bonding and attachment, reflect disrupted right hemisphere affect regulation and expression, and predispose to later persistent antisocial behavior.

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Available from: Peter H Venables, Jan 15, 2015
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    • "They found that subjects with a combination of early neuromotor deficits and unstable family environment had the highest risk of showing violent and criminal behaviour, but they did not compare individuals with or without attention deficit disorder. In a later study [34], Raine et al. showed that individuals with persistent antisocial behaviour had a higher frequency of problems with spatial ability assessed at three-years of age compared to controls and individuals with non-persistent antisocial behaviour, and they made a hypothesis that early visuospatial (right hemisphere) impairments could interfere with early attachment, emotion recognition and emotional regulation leading to antisocial behaviour. In a study of criminal offenders, Raine et al. [35] showed that spatial as well as verbal impairments among these individuals were not completely attributable to ADHD. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Children with early symptomatic psychiatric disorders such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have been found to have high rates of motor and/or perception difficulties. However, there have been few large-scale studies reporting on the association between Conduct Disorder (CD) and motor/perception functions. The aim of the present study was to investigate how motor function and perception relate to measures of ADHD, ASD, and CD. Methods Parents of 16,994 Swedish twins (ages nine and twelve years) were interviewed using the Autism-Tics, ADHD and other Comorbidities inventory (A-TAC), which has been validated as a screening instrument for early onset child psychiatric disorders and symptoms. Associations between categorical variables of scoring above previously validated cut-off values for diagnosing ADHD, ASD, and CD on the one hand and motor and/or perception problems on the other hand were analysed using cross-tabulations, and the Fisher exact test. Associations between the continuous scores for ADHD, ASD, CD, and the subdomains Concentration/Attention, Impulsiveness/Activity, Flexibility, Social Interaction and Language, and the categorical factors age and gender, on the one hand, and the dependent dichotomic variables Motor control and Perception problems, on the other hand, were analysed using binary logistic regression in general estimated equation models. Results Male gender was associated with increased risk of Motor control and/or Perception problems. Children scoring above the cut-off for ADHD, ASD, and/or CD, but not those who were ‘CD positive’ but ‘ADHD/ASD negative’, had more Motor control and/or Perception problems, compared with children who were screen-negative for all three diagnoses. In the multivariable model, CD and Impulsiveness/Activity had no positive associations with Motor control and/or Perception problems. Conclusions CD symptoms or problems with Impulsiveness/Activity were associated with Motor control or Perception problems only in the presence of ASD symptoms and/or symptoms of inattention. Our results indicate that children with CD but without ASD or inattention do not show a deviant development of motor and perceptual functions. Therefore, all children with CD should be examined concerning motor control and perception. If problems are present, a suspicion of ADHD and/or ASD should be raised.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
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    • "Spatial impairments are evident by age 3 among males whose antisocial and criminal behavior persists into adulthood (Raine et al. 2005), structural abnormalities of the parietal lobes have been reported in boys with CD (Hyatt et al. 2012; de Brito et al. 2008), and functional abnormalities in male offenders with high psychopathy scores (Koenigs et al. 2011; Birbaumer et al. 2005). The right hemisphere is dominant in the first months and years of life, and atypical development, it has been hypothesized, impairs the child's recognition of mother's facial expressions and consequent mother–child interactions (Raine et al. 2002). Altered serotonergic functioning is associated with reactive aggressive behavior (Davidson et al. 2000) and impulsive-antisocial temperament is associated with excess neurochemical and functional engagement of the mesolimbic dopamine system in response to reward (Buckholtz et al. 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: People with schizophrenia are at increased risk, as compared to the general population, to acquire convictions for violent crimes and homicide. They also show elevated levels of aggressive behaviour. While psychotic symptoms explain aggressive behaviour that is common during acute episodes, they do not explain such behaviour at other stages of illness or prior to illness onset. Three distinct phenotypes have been identified: individuals with a childhood onset of conduct disorder who display antisocial and aggressive behaviour both before and after schizophrenia onset; individuals with no history of conduct problems who begin engaging in aggressive behaviour as illness onsets; and individuals who after many years of illness engage in a severe physical assault. Little is known about the aetiology aetiology of the three types of offenders and about the neural mechanisms that initiate and maintain these behaviours. We hypothesize that schizophrenia preceded by conduct disorder is associated with a combination of genes conferring vulnerability for both disorders and altering the effects of environmental factors on the brain, and thereby, with a distinct pattern of neural development. Some evidence is available to support this hypothesis. By contrast, offending among adults with schizophrenia schizophrenia who have no history of such behaviour prior to illness may result from the changes in the brain that occur as illness onsets, and that are further altered by comorbid conditions such as substance misuse, or by the progressive changes in the brain through adulthood that may result from the illness and from the use of antipsychotic medications.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
    • "Smith, Arnett, and Newman (1992) and Raine et al. (2003) found significant impairment in spatial intelligence in adult psychopaths. Similar findings in children with callous–unemotional traits were interpreted as an indication of the early starter/spatial impairment model of antisocial behaviour (Raine et al., 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have reported numerous correlations between psychopathy and various personality traits, behavioural tendencies or clinical characteristics. The present study examined in greater depth the relationships between the components of psychopathy as measured by the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) and intelligence as well as impulsivity. A total of ninety male violent offenders were recruited from a prison and a forensic-psychiatric hospital in Germany. All of the subjects were assessed using the PCL-R, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), and a short version of the German Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WIP). As expected, a canonical correlation analysis showed a negative association between spatial intelligence and the Factor 2 subtotal on the PCL-R (reckless lifestyle/antisociality). In addition, our results agreed with the assumption of an association between impulsivity and the subtotal for PCL-R Factor 2. The positive relationship between verbal intelligence and the subtotal for Factor 1 of the PCL-R (insincere, manipulative conduct/affective deficits) vanished after controlling for educational level. The results indicate that there is a relationship between the spatial components of intelligence and the concept of psychopathy as described by Hare. This result supports the spatial impairment aetiological model of antisocial behaviour.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · International Journal of Law and Psychiatry
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