Advertisement

Biological Theories of Violence

  • Adrian Raine
  • Angela Scerbo
Part of the Foundations of Neuropsychology book series (FNPS, volume 4)

Abstract

This chapter describes a number of biological theories of violence in order to provide a general framework for the following chapters on the neuropsychology of aggression. The selection of theories described here (frontal dysfunction, left hemisphere dysfunction, left fronto-temporal-limbic damage, reduced lateralization for language, underarousal, vagotonia, and fetal neural maldevelopment) are by no means exhaustive. Theories have been chosen because they represent important biological perspectives on violence and have been fairly extensively researched (e.g., frontal theory), because they may be of special interest to neuropsychologists (reduced lateralization for language), or because they represent relatively new perspectives that have been under-researched but that represent promising lines for future study (e.g., fetal maldevelopment, vagotonia). In particular, theories of violence based on research on steroids, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, GABA/benzodiazepine receptors, and the neuroanatomy of aggression in animals have not been included, since they may be of less direct interest to neuropsychologists researching violence in humans; they are nevertheless important biological perspectives that should be taken into account in any complete explanation of the biological basis of violence.

Keywords

Violent Behavior Skin Conductance Biological Theory Psychopathic Trait Contingent Negative Variation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adams, J. H., Mitchell, D. E., Graham, D. I., & Doyle, D. (1977). Diffuse brain damage of immediate impact type. Brain 100, 489–502.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bach-y-Rita, G., Lion, J. R., Climent, C. E., & Ervin, F. (1971). Episodic dyscontrol: A study of 139 violent patients. American Journal of Psychiatry 127, 1473–1478.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker, R. L., & Mednick, S. A. (1984). Influences on human development: A longitudinal perspective.Boston: Kluwer Nijhoff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beaumont, J. G. (1983). Introduction to neuropsychology. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  5. Brickman, A. S., McManus, M., Grapentine, W. L., & Alessi, N. E. (1984). Neuropsychological assessment of seriously delinquent adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry 23, 453–457.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bryant, E. T., Scott, M. L., Golden, C. J., & Tori, C. D. (1984). Neuropsychological deficits,learning disability, and violent behavior. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 52,323–324.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bryden, M. P. (1982). Laterality: Functional asymmetry in the intact brain. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cleckley, H. C. (1976). The mask of sanity. St Louis, MO: C. V. Mosby.Google Scholar
  9. Cox, D., Hallam, R., O’Connor, K., & Rachman, S. (1983). An experimental study of fearlessness and courage. British Journal of Psychology 74, 107–117.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Damasio, A. (1985). The frontal lobes. In K. M. Heilman & E. Valenstein (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology (pp. 339–375). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Denno, D. J. (1989). Biology, crime and violence: New evidence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Eysenck, H. J. (1977). Crime and personality (3rd ed.). St. Albans: Palladin.Google Scholar
  13. Farrington, D. P. (1987). Implications of biological findings for criminality research. In S. A.Mednick, T. E. Moffitt, & S. A. Stack (Eds.), The causes of crime: New biological approaches (pp. 42–64). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Forth, A. & Hare, R. D. (1990). The contingent negative variation in psychopaths. Psycho-physiology 26, 676–682.Google Scholar
  15. Garnett, E. S., Nahmias, C, Wortzman, G., Langevin, R., & Dickey, R. (1988). Positron emission tomography and sexual arousal in a sadist and two controls. Annals of Sex Research 1, 401–416.Google Scholar
  16. Gellhorn, E., & Loofbourrow, G. N. (1963). Emotions and emotional disorders. New York: Hoeber Medical Division.Google Scholar
  17. Gillstrom, B. J., & Hare, R. D. (1988). Language-related hand gestures in psychopaths. Journal of Personality Disorders 2, 21–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gorenstein, E. E. (1982). Frontal lobe functions in psychopaths. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 91, 368–379.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hare, R. D. (1970). Psychopathy: Theory and practice. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  20. Hare, R. D. (1978). Electrodermal and cardiovascular correlates of psychopathy. In R. D. Hare & D. Schalling (Eds.), Psychopathic behavior: Approaches to research (pp. 107–144). New York:Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Hare, R. D. (1984). Performance of psychopaths on cognitive tasks related to frontal lobe function. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 93, 133–140.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hare, R. D. & Jutai, J. (1988). Psychopathy and cerebral asymmetry in semantic processing.Personality and Individual Differences 9, 329–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hare, R. D., & McPherson, L. M. (1984). Psychopathy and perceptual asymmetry during verbal dichotic listening. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 93, 141–149.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hare, R. D., Williamson, S. E., & Harpur, T. J. (1988). Psychopathy and language. In T. E.Moffitt & S. A. Mednick (Eds.), Biological contributions to crime causation (pp. 68–92).Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harpur, T. J., Williamson, S. E., Forth, A., & Hare, R. D. (1986). A quantitative assessment of resting EEG in psychopathic and non-psychopathic criminals. Psychophysiology 23, 439.Google Scholar
  26. Hart, C. (1987). The relevance of a test of speech comprehension deficit to persistent aggressiveness. Personality and Individual Differences 8, 371–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hendricks, S. E., Fitzpatrick, D. F., Hartmann, K., Quaife, M. A., Stratbucker, R. A., & Graber, B. (1988). Brain structure and function in sexual molesters of children and adolescents. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 49, 108–112.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Hill, D., & Pond, D. A. (1952). Reflections on 100 capital cases submitted for electroencephalography. Journal of Mental Science 98, 23–43.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Hucker, S., Langevin, R., Wortzman, G., & Bain, J. (1988). Neuropsychological impairment in pedophiles. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science 18, 440–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jacobson, B., Eklund, G., Hamberger, L., Linnarsson, G., & Valverius, M. (1987). Perinatal origin of adult self-destructive behavior. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 76, 364–371.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jutai, J., Hare, R. D., & Connolly, J. F. (1987). Psychopathy and event-related brain potentials (ERPs) associated with attention to speech stimuli. Personality and Individual Differences 8,175–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kandel, E., Brennan, P., & Mednick, S. A. (1990). Minor physical anomalies and parental modeling of physical aggression predict adult violent offending. Unpublished manuscript,University of Southern California.Google Scholar
  33. Lewis, A. J. (1976). Mechanisms of neurologic disease. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.Google Scholar
  34. Lewis, D. O., Shanok, S. S., & Balla, D. A. (1979). Perinatal difficulties, head and face trauma,and child abuse in the medical histories of seriously delinquent children. American Journal of Psychiatry 136, 419–423.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Litt, S. M. (1971). Perinatal complications and criminality. Doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  36. Luria, A. R. (1973). The frontal lobes and the regulation of behavior. In K. H. Pribram & A. K.Luria (Eds.), Psychophysiology of the frontal lobes (pp. 23–47). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  37. Luria, A. R. (1980). Higher cortical functions in man. New York: Basic Books.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. MacKinnon, R. A. & Yudofsky, S. C. (1986). Psychiatric evaluation in clinical practice. New York:J. B. Lippincott Co.Google Scholar
  39. Mark, V. H. & Ervin, F. R. (1970). Violence and the brain. Hagerstown, MD: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  40. Marks, V. (1981). The regulation of blood glucose. In V. Marks & F. C. Rose (Eds.),Hypoglycaemia (pp. 123–148). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  41. Mednick, S. A., & Christiansen, K. O. (1977). Biosocial bases of criminal behavior. New York:Gardner.Google Scholar
  42. Mednick, S. A., Gabrielli, W. F., & Hutchings, B. (1984). Genetic influences in criminal convictions: Evidence from an adoption cohort. Science 224, 891–894.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mednick, S. A. & Kandel, E. (1988). Genetic and perinatal factors in violence. In S. A. Mednick & T. Moffitt (Eds.), Biological contributions to crime causation (pp. 121–134). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mednick, S. A., Pollock, V., Volavka, J., & Gabrielli, W. F. (1982). Biology and violence. In M. E. Wolfgang & N. A. Weiner (Eds.), Criminal violence. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Mesulam, M.-M. (1986). Frontal cortex and behaviors. Annals of Neurology 19, 319–323.Google Scholar
  46. Moffitt, T. E. (1990). The neuropsychology of juvenile delinquency: A critical review. In M.Tonry & N. Morris (Eds.), Crime and justice: A review of the literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  47. Monroe, R. R. (1970). Episodic behavioral disorders-A psychodynamic and neurophysiologic analysis.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Mungas, D. (1983). An empirical analysis of specific syndromes of violent behavior. Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases 171, 354–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mungas, D. (1988). Psychometric correlates of episodic violent behavior: A multi-disciplinary neuropsychological approach. British Journal of Psychiatry 152, 180–187.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nachshon, I. (1982). Towards a biosocial approach in criminology. Journal of Social and Biological Structures 5, 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Nachshon, I. (1983). Hemisphere dysfunction in psychopathy and behavior disorders. In M.Myslobodsky (Ed.), Hemisyndromes: Psychobiology, neurology, psychiatry. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  52. Nachshon, I. (1988). Hemisphere function in violent offenders. In T. E. Moffitt & S. A.Mednick (Eds.), Biological contributions to crime causation (pp. 55–67). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Nachshon, I, & Denno, D. (1987). Hemisphere dysfunction in violent offenders. In S. A.Mednick, T. E. Moffitt, & S. Stack (Eds.), The causes of crime: New biological approaches (pp.185–217). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Quay, H. C. (1965). Psychopathic personality as pathological stimulation-seeking. American Journal of Psychiatry 122, 180–183.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Quay, H. C. (1987). Intelligence. In H. C. Quay (Ed.), Handbook of juvenile delinquency (pp.106–117). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  56. Raine, A. (1988). Antisocial behavior and social psychophysiology. In H. L. Wagner (Ed.),Social psychophysiology and emotion: Theory and clinical applications (pp. 231–250). London:Wiley.Google Scholar
  57. Raine, A. (1989). Evoked potential and psychopathy. International Journal of Psychophysiology 8,1–16.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Raine, A. & Dunkin, J. J. (1990). The genetic and psychophysiological basis of antisocial behavior: Implications for counseling and therapy. Journal of Counseling and development 68,637–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Raine, A. & Jones, F. (1987). Attention, arousal, and personality in behaviorally disordered children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 15, 583–599.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Raine, A., O’Brien, M., Chan, C. J., Scerbo, A., & Smiley, N. (1989). Performance of juvenile psychopaths on cognitive tasks related to frontal lobe function. Unpublished manuscript,Department of Psychology, University of Southern California.Google Scholar
  61. Raine, A., O’Brien, M., Smiley, N., Scerbo, A., & Chan, C. J. (1990a). Reduced lateralization in verbal dichotic listening in adolescent psychopaths. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 99,272–277.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Raine, A., Reynolds, G. P., & Sheard, C. (in press). Neuroanatomical correlates of skin conductance orienting in humans: A magnetic resonance imaging study. Psychophysiology.Google Scholar
  63. Raine, A., & Venables, P. H. (1984). Tonic heart rate level, social class, and antisocial behavior in adolescents. Biological Psychology 18, 123–132.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Raine, A., & Venables, P. H. (1988a). Skin conductance responsivity in psychopaths to orienting, defensive, and consonant-vowel stimuli. Journal of Psychophysiology 2, 221–225.Google Scholar
  65. Raine, A., & Venables, P. H. (1988b). Enhanced P3 evoked potentials and longer recovery times in psychopaths. Psychophysiology 25, 30–38.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Raine, A., Venables, P. H., & Williams, M. (1990b). Relationships between central and autonomic measures of arousal at age 15 and criminality at age 24. Archives of General Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  67. Raine, A., Venables, P. H., & Williams, M. (1990c). Relationships between Nl, P300 and contingent negative variation recorded at age 15 and criminal behavior at age 24. Psychophysiology, 27, 567–576.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Repp, B. H. (1977). Measuring laterality effects in dichotic listening. Journal of the Acoustic Society of America 62, 720–737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Silver, J. M. & Yudofsky, S. C. (1987). Aggressive behavior in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. Psychiatric Annals 17, 367–370.Google Scholar
  70. Tarter, R. E., Hegedus, A. M., Winsten, N. E., & Alterman, A. I. (1984). Neuropsychological,personality and familial characteristics of physically abused children. Journal of American Academy of Child Psychiatry 23, 668–674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Venables, P. H. (1988). Psychophysiology and crime: Theory and data. In T. E. Moffitt & S. A. Mednick (Eds.), Biological contributions to crime causation (pp. 3–13). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Venables, P. H. & Raine, A (1987). Biological theory. In B. J. McGurk, D. Thornton, and M.Williams (Eds.), Applying psychology to imprisonment: Theory and practice (pp. 3–28). London:Her Majesty’s Stationary Office.Google Scholar
  73. Virkunnen, M. (1983). Insulin secretion during the glucose tolerance test among violent offenders. British Journal of Psychiatry 142, 598–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Virkunnen, M. (1986). Reactive hypoglycemia tendency among habitually violent offenders.Nutrition Reviews 44, 94–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Volkow, N. D., & Tancredi, L. (1987). Neural substrates of violent behavior: A preliminary study with positron emission tomography. British Journal of Psychiatry 151, 668–673.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wadsworth, M. E. J. (1976). Delinquency, pulse rates, and early emotional deprivation. British Journal of Criminology 16, 245–258.Google Scholar
  77. Waldrop, M. F. & Halversen, C. (1971). Minor physical anomalies and hyperactive behavior in young children. Exceptional Infant 2, 343–380.Google Scholar
  78. Williams, D. (1969). Neural factors related to habitual aggression: Consideration of those differences between those habitually aggressives and others who have committed crimes of violence. Brain 92, 503–520.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Yeudall, L. T. (1978) The neuropsychology of aggression. Clarence Hinks Memorial Lecture,University of Western Ontario.Google Scholar
  80. Yeudall, L. T., Fedora, O., Fedora, S., & Wardell, D. (1981). Australian Journal of Forensic Science 13(4); 14(1).Google Scholar
  81. Yeudall, L. T., & Flor-Henry, P. (1975). Lateralized neuropsychological impairments in depression and criminal psychopathy. Paper presented at the Conference of the Psychiatric Association of Alberta, Calgary, Alberta.Google Scholar
  82. Yeudall, L. T., & Fromm-Auch, D. (1979). Neuropsychological impairments in various psychopathological populations. In J. Gruzelier & P. Flor-Henry (Eds.), Hemisphere asymmetries of function and psychopathology (pp. 5–13). New York: Elsevier/North Holland.Google Scholar
  83. Yeudall, L. T., Fromm-Auch, D., & Davies, P. (1982). Neuropsychological impairment of persistent delinquency. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 170, 257–265.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Raine
  • Angela Scerbo

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations