Psychopathy, Violence,and Brain Imaging

  • Adrian Raine


Advances in brain imaging techniques in the past 15 years have provided the opportunity to gain dramatic, new insights into the brain mechanisms that may be dysfunctional in violent, psychopathic offenders. In the past, the idea of peering into the mind of a murderer to gain insights into their acts was the province of pulp fiction or space-age movies. Yet now we can literally look at, and into, the brains of murderers using functional and structural imaging techniques which are currently revolutionizing our understanding of the causes of clinical disorders.


Single Photon Emission Computerize Tomography Prefrontal Cortex Antisocial Personality Disorder Brain Imaging Study Violent Offender 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bechara, A.; Damasio, H.; Tranel, D. & Damasio, A. R. (1997): Deciding advantageously before knowing the advantageous strategy,Science, 275, pp. 1293–1294.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benson, D. F. & Miller, B. L. (1997): Frontal lobe mechanisms of aggression, in J. S. Grisola, J. Sanmartn, J. L. Lujn & S. Grisola (eds.),Violence: From biology to society, Amsterdam, Elsevier, pp. 35–42.Google Scholar
  3. Buchsbaum, M. S. et al. (1997): Ventricular volume and asymmetry in schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia assessed with magnetic resonance imaging,Schizophrenia Research, 27, pp. 45–53.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Crick, F. (1994): The astonishing hypothesis: The scientific search for the soul, New York, Touchstone.Google Scholar
  5. D’Agincourt, L. (1993): PET findings support insanity defense case, Diagnostic imaging, 15, pp. 45–50.Google Scholar
  6. Dahl, R. E. (1998): Development and psychopathology, in E. A. Farber & M. Hertzig (eds), Annual progress in child psychiatry and child development, Bristol PA, Brunner/Mazel, pp. 3–28.Google Scholar
  7. Damasio, A. R. (1994): Descartes Error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain, New York, Grosset/Putnam.Google Scholar
  8. Damasio, H., Grabowski, T.; Frank, R.; Galaburda, A. M. & Damasio, A. R. (1994): The return of Phineas Gage: Clues about the brain from a skull of a famous patient, Science, 264, pp. 1102–1105.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Damasio, A. R.; Tranel, D. & Damasio, H. (1990): Individuals with psychopathic behavior caused by frontal damage fail to respond autonomically to social stimuli, Behavioral andBrain Research, 41 pp. 81 –94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davidson, R. J. (1993): Parsing affective space: Perspectives from neuropsychology and psychophysiology, Neuropsychology, 7, pp. 464–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Davidson, R. J. & Fox, N. A. (1989): Frontal brain asymetry predicts infants response to maternal separation, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 98, pp. 127–131.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Denenberg, V. H.; Gall, J. S.; Berrebi, A. & Yutzey, D. A. (1986): Callosal mediation of cortical inhibition in the lateralized rat brain, Brain Research, 397, pp. 327–332.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dodge, K. A.; Price, J. M. & Bachorowski, J. A. (1990): Hostile attributional biases in severely aggressive adolescents, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, pp. 385–392.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Frysztak, R. J. & Neafsey, E. J. (1991): The effect of medial frontal cortex lesions on respiration, freezing, and ultrasonic vocalizations during conditioned emotional responses in rats, Cerebral Cortex, 1 pp. 418–425.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fuster, J. M. (1989): The prefrontal cortex: Anatomy, physiology, and neuropsychology of thefrontal lobe, (2nd ed.), New York, Raven Press.Google Scholar
  16. Garbanati, J. A.; Sherman, G. F.; Rosen, G. D.; Hofmann, M. J.; Yutzey, D. A. & Denenberg, V. H. (1993): Handling in infancy, brain laterality and muricide in rats, Behavioral andBrain Research, 7, pp. 351 -359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grisolia, J.S. (1997): Temporal lobe mechanisms and violence, in J. S. Grisola, J. Sanmartn, J. L. Lujan & S. Grisolia (eds), Violence: From biology to society, Amsterdam, Elsevier, pp. 43–52.Google Scholar
  18. Gur R. C.; Ragland, J. D.; Resnick, S. M.; Skolnick, B. E.; Jaggi, J.; Muencz, L. & Gur, R. E. (1994): Lateralized increases in cerebral blood flow during performance of verbal and spatial tasks: relationship with performance level, Brain and Cognition, 24, pp. 244–258.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Goyer, P. F.; Andreason, P. J.; Semple, W. E.; Clayton, A. H.; King, A. C.; Compton-Toth, B. A.; Schulz, S. C. & Cohen, R.M. (1994): Positron-emission tomography and personality disorders, Neuropsychopharmacology, 10, pp. 21–28.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Hare, R. D. (1991): The Hare Psychopathy Checklist — Revised, New York, Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  21. Hellige, J. (1993): Hemisphere asymmetry: Whats right and whats left, Cambridge, Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Henry, B. & Mofftt, T. E. (1997): Neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies of juvenile delinquency and adult criminal behavior, in J. Breiling, D. M. Stoff & J. D. Maser, Handbook of antisocial behavior, New York, Wiley, pp. 280–288.Google Scholar
  23. Hugdahl, K. (1998): Cortical control of human classical conditioning: Autonomic and positron emission tomography data, Psychophysiology, 35, pp. 170–178.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Intrator, J.; Hare, R.; Stritzke, P.; Brichtswein, K.; Dorfman, D.; Harpur, T. Bernstein, D.; Handelsman, L.; Schaefer, C.; Keilp, J.; Rosen, J. & Machac, J. (1997): A brain imaging (single photon emission computerized tomography) study of semantic and affective processing in psychopaths, Biological Psychiatry, 42, pp. 96–103.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kuruoglu, A. C.;Arikan, Z.; Karatas, ML; Arac, M. & Isik, E. (1996): Single photon emission computerized tomography in chronic alcoholism: Antisocial Personality Disorder may be associated with decreased frontal perfusion , British Journal ofPsychiatry, 169, pp. 348–354.Google Scholar
  26. Mirsky, A. F. & Siegel, A. (1994): The neurobiology of violence and aggression, in A. J. Reiss, K. A. Miczek & J. A. Roth (eds.), Understanding and preventing violence. Vol. 2.Biobehavioral influences, Washington D.C., National Academy Press, pp. 59–172.Google Scholar
  27. Moffitt, T. E. (1993): Adolescence-limited and life-course persistent antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy, Psychological Review, 100, pp. 674–701.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Raine, A. (1993): The Psychopathology of crime: Crime behavior as a clinical disorder, San Diego, Academic Press.Google Scholar
  29. Raine, A. & Buchsbaum, M. S. (1996): Violence and brain imaging, in D. M. Stoff & R. B. Cairns (eds.), Neurobiological approaches to clinical aggression research, Mahwah NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 195–218.Google Scholar
  30. Raine, A.; Buchsbaum, M. S.; Stanley, J.; Lottenberg, S.; Abel, L. & Stoddard, J. (1994): Selective reductions in pre-frontal glucose metabolism in murderers, BiologicalPsychiatry, 36, 365–373.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. (Tambin reeditado in Talbott, J. A. (1996) (ed.): The Yearbookof Psychiatry and Applied Mental Health, St. Louis, Mosby) (see also correspondence in (1995): Biological Psychiatry, 38, pp. 342–343).Google Scholar
  32. (see also correspondence in (1995): Biological Psychiatry, 38, pp. 342–343).Google Scholar
  33. Raine, A.; Buchsbaum, M. S. & La Casse, L. (1997): Brain abnormalities in murderers indicated by positron emission tomography, Biological Psychiatry, 42, pp. 495–508.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Raine, A.; Reynolds, C.; Venables, P. H.; Mednick, S. A. & Farrington, D. P. (1998): Fearlessness, stimulation-seeking, and large body size at age 3 years as early predispositions to childhood aggression at age 11 years . Archives of General Psychiatry, 55, pp. 745–751.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Raine, A.; Reynolds, G. & Sheard, C. (1991): Neuroanatomical mediators of electrodermal activity in normal human subjects: A magnetic resonance imaging study ,Psychophysiology, 28, pp. 548–555.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Raine, A.; Sheard, S.; Reynolds, G. P. & Lencz, T. (1992): Pre-frontal structural and functional deficits associated with individual differences in schizotypal personality, Schizophrenia Research, 7, pp. 237–247.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Raine, A.; Stoddard, J.; Bihrle, S. & Buchsbaum, M. S. (1998): Prefrontal glucose deficits in murderers lacking psychosocial deprivation, Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, andBehavioral Neurology, 11 pp. 1 -7.Google Scholar
  38. Raine, A.; Meloy, J. R.; Bihrle, S.; Stoddard, J.; Lacasse, L. & Buchsbaum, M. S. (1998): Reduced prefrontal and increased subcortical brain functioning assessed using positron emission tomography in predatory and affective murderers . Behavioral Sciences and theLaw, 16, pp. 319–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Raine, A. & Venables, P. H. (1981): Classical conditioning and socialization — A biosocial interaction?. Personality and Individual Differences, 2, pp. 273–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Raine, A.; Venables, P. H. & Williams, M. (1990): Relationships between CNS and ANS measures of arousal at age 15 and criminality at age 24, Archives of General Psychiatry, 47, pp. 1003–1007.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Seidenwurm, D.; Pounds, T. R.; Globus, A. & Valk, P. E. (1997): Temporal lobe metabolism in violent subjects: Correlation of imaging and neuropsychiatric findings, AmericanJournal of Neuroradiology, 18, pp. 625–631.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Stuss, D. T. & Benson, D. F. (1986): The frontal lobes, New York, Raven Press.Google Scholar
  43. Volkow, N. D.; Tancredi, L. R.; Grant, C.; Gillespie, H.; Valentine, A.; Mullani, N.; Wang, G. J. & Hollister, L. (1995): Brain glucose metabolism in violent psychiatric patients: A preliminary study, Psychiatry Research — Neuroimaging, 61, pp. 243–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Raine
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations