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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 52 (2010) 6, 387 - 396

Review article

The neurobiology of antisocial behaviour

M.M. Loomans, J.H.M. Tulen, H.J.C. van Marle

background Neuro-imaging is being used increasingly to provide explanations for antisocial behaviour.
aim To make a neurobiological contribution to the diagnosis of many types of antisocial behaviour.
method The literature was searched using PubMed and combinations of the keywords ‘psychopathy’, ‘antisocial’, ‘neurobiology’ and ‘neuro-anatomy’, for the period 1990-2009.
results Impairments in the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, superior temporal gyrus, corpus callosum and anterior cingulate cortex provide a possible explanation for a large number of the symptoms associated with antisocial behaviour. The concept of psychopathy is connected mainly with impairments in a prefrontal-temporal-limbic system.
conclusion Combinations of deficiencies in the associated brain areas and malfunctioning of the communication between the various brain structures seem to play a more important role than deficiencies in the separate brain structures.

keywords antisocial behaviour, neuro-anatomy, psychopathy