News and Commentary Archive

Explore recent scientific discoveries and news as well as CLBB events, commentary, and press.

Mission

The speed of technology in neuroscience as it impacts ethical and just decisions in the legal system needs to be understood by lawyers, judges, public policy makers, and the general public. The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior is an academic and professional resource for the education, research, and understanding of neuroscience and the law. Read more

Joshua Buckholtz on Imaging, Genetics of Antisocial Behavior & Psychopathy

CLBB Faculty Member Joshua Buckholtz is a featured contributor in the new volume, Neuroimaging Genetics: Principles and Practices, published by Oxford University Press. According to the description, “The work presented in this volume elaborates on the explosive interest from diverse research areas in psychiatry and neurology in the use of imaging genetics as a unique tool to establish and identify mechanisms of risk, establish biological significance, and extend statistical evidence of genetic associations.” Dr. Buckholtz, along with Hayley M. Dorfman, wrote a chapter entitled, “Imaging Genetics of Antisocial Behavior and Psychopathy”, under Part IV of the book.

Check out Neuroimaging Genetics: Principles and Practices today!

Social Behavior: A Penny for Your Shocks

By Hayley M. Dorfman and Joshua W. Buckholtz | Current Biology | July 20, 2015

Summary:

Antisocial behavior is an enormously costly social problem, but its origins are poorly understood. A new study shows that prosocial and antisocial behaviors arise from individual differences in how we represent the value of others’ pain relative to our own potential gain, rather than from variability in the capacity for effortful inhibitory control.

Read the full paper here.

Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy

By Terrie Moffitt | Psychological Review | October 1993

Abstract
Presents a dual taxonomy to reconcile 2 incongruous facts about antisocial behavior: (1) It shows impressive continuity over age, but (2) its prevalence changes dramatically over age, increasing almost 10-fold temporarily during adolescence. This article suggests that delinquency conceals 2 distinct categories of individuals, each with a unique natural history and etiology: A small group engages in antisocial behavior of one sort or another at every life stage, whereas a larger group is antisocial only during adolescence. According to the theory of life-course-persistent antisocial behavior, children’s neuropsychological problems interact cumulatively with their criminogenic environments across development, culminating in a pathological personality. According to the theory of adolescence-limited antisocial behavior, a contemporary maturity gap encourages teens to mimic antisocial behavior in ways that are normative and adjustive.

Access the full paper here.