Anatomy Of A Psychopath : The Neurobiological Basis Of Evil
WRITTEN BY JONATHAN PARARAJASINGHAM SEPTEMBER 30, 2011,
Editor’s Note: This is the first part of “Mind’s Matter”, a new series of articles by Dr. Jonathan Pararajasingham, exploring the Neurobiological basis of behaviour.
“We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere.” – Ted Bundy
One of the most controversial areas of research in neuroscience involves the search for biophysical causes of sadistic thought and behaviour. But there now seems to be enough complementary evidence to at least begin piecing together a coherent materialistic description of the psychopathic mind. A number of potential genetic and pathophysiological causes of violence and aggression have been investigated over recent years. These include things like the monoamine oxidase A gene, head trauma, serotonin deficiency, epilepsy, stress, and neuropeptides. But since the recent surge in quality of neuroimaging techniques, we are now finding exceptionally detailed anatomical correlates to certain types of behaviour, including antisocialism and criminality. Research now points to the discovery that impulsive aggression and violence arise as a consequence of faulty emotion regulation circuitry in the brain. In this paper I aim to outline the evidence and implications of this finding.
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