Differences in brain structure pointed to anti-social behaviour

Psychologists from the US, UK and New Zealand have found that antisocial behavior has its neurobiological basis: those for whom this behavior is typical, the smaller the area of the cerebral cortex and its thickness. In particular, this applies to parts of the brain responsible for emotions and control over the Executive functions. Interestingly, such differences are characteristic only of those who show anti-social behavior for a long time, beyond adolescence. Article published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry.

Antisocial behaviour (the manifestation of behavioral patterns that are contrary to accepted social norms: for example, aggression, vandalism, theft, and so on), it is customary to distinguish between age, as quite often it is limited to only adolescence, which is largely associated with puberty. On the other hand, antisocial behavior that is observed in almost all human life, often due to more serious mental and neurobiological disorders.

Still this distinction, however, has not been tested on large samples. Fix it decided scientists led by Kristina Carlisi (Christina Carlisi) from University College London. They used data from the Dunedin Study, which involved 1037 inhabitants of the new Zealand city Dunedin 1972-1973 year of birth. Each participant had available data on their health and lives from the age of three and up to 45 years. In addition, all participants underwent MRI scanning and were divided into three groups depending on whether they showed antisocial behavior only during adolescence, outside of it or not show it at all. Surveys that assess antisocial behavior, was conducted several times during the period when the participants were 7 to 26 years.

Scientists analyzed data on 672 research participants, of whom 80 were observed long patterns of antisocial behaviour, to 151 only in adolescence, but for the rest they were not typical at all.

Compared to those participants that were not characteristically anti-social behavior, those who took it for a long period, distinguished by the smaller total surface area (p < 0.001) and thinner (p = 0.02) of the cerebral cortex. In particular, it concerns the regions of cortex that are responsible for controlling Executive functions, processing of emotions and motivation. In the brain, those who showed antisocial behaviour only in adolescence, found no specific structural differences.

The researchers concluded that antisocial behaviour actually has a specific neurobiological basis. It is interesting that this is true only for long-term behavior, but to the teenage problems anymore. Due to the fact that the differences — structural, scientists also concluded that the basis of anti-social behaviour can be particular development.

New Zealand scientists used data from the Dunedin Study to other studies. For example, the same sample was found out that children who are in child suck or bite fingers, in adulthood less likely to suffer from allergies, and the only harm that can cause Smoking marijuana is gum disease.

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