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NCJ Number: 228595 Find in a Library
Title: Criminology of the Amygdala
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:36  Issue:11  Dated:November 2009  Pages:1231-1242
Author(s): Matt DeLisi; Zachary R. Umphress; Michael G. Vaughn
Date Published: November 2009
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the anatomical location, connectivity, and functions of the amygdala.
Abstract: Evidence is converging that neural substrates play an important role in explaining variations in antisocial behavior. Because of its role in the regulation of fear and other emotional memory and response, the amygdala is importantly related to psychopathy; callous-unemotional traits; and the vibrant, neuroscience-based investigations of the etiology of antisocial behavior. Without question, the amygdala is the key brain structure mediating defensive behavior in stages of fear and anxiety, is involved in instrumental learning and aversive conditioning, and is activated in responses to fearful and sad facial expressions. Future criminological research and theorizing would benefit from approaches that link criminal behavior and its immediate milieu with important underlying neural substrates, such as the amygdala, making it possible to tie the intersection of brain and behavior to genetics research and the study of environmental risk pathogens across time. A greater understanding of this brain region can shed meaningful light on understanding the etiology of antisocial behavior, and perhaps, why some offenders are successful at desisting from crime and other are not. Figures and references
Main Term(s): Criminology; Genetic influences on behavior
Index Term(s): Antisocial attitudes; Behavioral science research; Developmental criminology; Problem behavior
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