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NCJ Number: 212661 Find in a Library
Title: Some Thoughts on the Neurobiology of Stalking
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:50  Issue:6  Dated:November 2005  Pages:1472-1480
Author(s): J. Reid Meloy Ph.D.; Helen Fisher Ph.D.
Date Published: November 2005
Page Count: 9
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper explores the neurobiology of two related and predominant types of stalking: sustained pursuit of an individual by someone who has been rejected by his sexual intimate, and sustained pursuit of an individual by someone who is infatuated with a stranger or acquaintance who fails to return the stalker's romantic overtures.
Abstract: The authors' supposition is that these stalkers express a deviant pattern of heterosexual pair formation associated with several biological and cultural variables, including a specific brain system for romantic attraction and specific patterns of abnormal attachment. The authors advance five hypotheses regarding the neurobiology of the stalker. First, stalkers may have a different magnitude or ratio between activities of central dopamine and serotonin than normals, producing in the stalker more energy, dysphoria, vigilance, and tenacity in the pursuit of a love object than normals. Second, research on the attachment patterns among stalkers suggests that their bonding is insecure, inferring that their attachment biochemistry varies from that of normal individuals with secure attachments. Third, the affective nature of stalking violence suggests that the stalker has at times a gross lack of impulse control. Fourth, stalking, under some circumstances, may be a manifestation of a compulsion that could have a biochemical origin. Fifth, although stalking is typically not highly sexualized, it is aggressive, suggesting that testosterone may play a role in stalking behavior. 103 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Offender profiles; Psychological evaluation; Psychological influences on crime; Stalkers
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