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Could brain abnormalities cause antisocial behavior and drug abuse in boys?
Date:9/23/2010

d then sends that information to another brain region (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), which regulates one's choices among possible behaviors. During decision-making, antisocial boys had significantly less brain activity than normals in both of those regions, and also in other decision-making areas (orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala, insula).

Altogether, during decision-making about 6000 voxels (a voxel is a tiny cube in the brain) activated significantly less in antisocial boys than in comparison boys. No voxels activated more in antisocial boys. Such under-activity during decision-making could contribute to disinhibited antisocial and drug-using behaviors.

As predicted by others not associated with the study, the antisocial boys also had dysphoria, a chronic sad-anxious state, with "reward insensitivity"; in the game their brains responded less than the comparison boys' brains to wins. They also had "punishment hypersensitivity", with greater brain response to losses than comparison boys.

Interestingly, the number of risky right presses was similar in the two groups. The scientists speculate that this occurred because the game forced the boys to deliberate for several seconds before pressing either button.


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Contact: Jackie Brinkman
Jackie.brinkman@ucdenver.edu
303-724-1525
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

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