What lies behind an insensitive, violent and defiant young man? Antisocial behavior can be explained by certain neurobiological abnormalities that are increasingly being understood by science. We analyze them.
Antisocial behavior begins in childhood itself., Although we always focus on adults who violate social norms and that leads to criminal behavior, it is important to look to childhood. It is in man’s first years that a good portion of personality disorders become systemic.
One of the most defining characteristics of this clinical condition is a complete disregard for how their actions affect others. Sometimes, in primary classes we can find students with a particular type of problem. They are not only disruptive and problematic; His high impulsiveness and lack of empathy may attract our attention.
While it is true that behind this type of profile and clinical photographs is a dysfunctional family and an incomplete education, there is another variable that must be highlighted. have neurobiological disorders that are related to emotional insensitivity in children and adolescents, We are engrossed in it.
Antisocial behavior usually becomes apparent between the ages of 8 and 11. Defiance of authority and lack of empathy are the most notable characteristics.
childhood antisocial behavior
About 3% of the population shows antisocial personality disorder, Of this percentage, 40% already present overt antisocial behavior in childhood (Widiger & Gore, 2016). The data is important and highlights the fact that we can better understand the reason for the development of this condition if we look at the earliest ages.
This is what psychology has done for many decades. We cannot ignore the fact that Group B personality disorders are the most problematic and have the greatest impact on a societal level. In this way, what we see in both children and adults is that they do not hesitate to circumvent and challenge everything that is not only subject to moral or legal codes. Besides, they brag about it.
We are faced with a profile that has a high probability of engaging in criminal behavior from an early age. This sector of our population is also a challenge, as we do not always know how to deal with antisocial behavior in children. Families, teachers, social agents… It is not easy to respond to this complex reality.
Problems with emotional insensitivity and empathy would be explained by dysfunction in the amygdala.
How to recognize an antisocial child?
The most striking characteristic of antisocial children is their lack of empathy., They are not sensitive to the emotional realities of others. Thus, although they can recognize the emotions of others, they do not react to them. Neither do they feel remorse for their conduct nor do they have the slightest concern for the effects of their actions.
- They show defiant and violent behaviour.
- They fight often.
- They misbehave with animals.
- They are lying.
- They can steal and vandalize other people’s property.
- I love breaking rules and regulations. School absenteeism is the most common feature at this age.
- Persistent reactions of anger, rage, resentment etc.
- Inability to control impulses.
- Very poor social skills.
- Serious limitations to solving problems.
Neurobiological changes in young people without empathy and antisocial
One of the most decisive factors for the appearance of childhood antisocial behavior is a dysfunctional family. Growing up in an environment that is hostile, cold, without emotional support, and with poor parenting skills almost always has a major impact. Now, science has been addressing another hypothesis for years.
The etiology of young people without empathy and antisocial lies not only in the educational social factor, neurobiological disorders should also be taken into account. We analyze them below.
The Amygdala and Emotional Callousness in Children
Doctor Mairead Dolan explains in a chapter in the book The American Journal of Psychiatry How are youth without empathy and emotional insensitivity. Thanks to the study of magnetic resonances, it has become possible to see There may be dysfunction in the amygdala, meaning less activation.
This translates into a limitation when it comes to processing facial expressions and understanding the emotions of others. Now, there are more neurobiological issues worth noting. Another detail was observed in another research work at the Central del Sur University.
This disregard for social obligations and this emotional insensitivity may also be explained by abnormalities in the functional connectivity of the brain., Altered frequency bands in the neural connectivity of children and adults with antisocial behavior.
brain with little charge of conscience
Young people without empathy and emotionally insensitive usually do not show feelings of guilt. They rarely think about the ramifications of their behavior. They are not concerned about harming others. These qualities are amazing if we start appreciating them from childhood.
Functional neuroimaging is currently the most widely used modality for understanding the neural correlates of antisocial behavior in young people. So that’s something we appreciate A marked change in all prefrontal areas related to self-awareness and reflection.
Similarly, the above functional deficits in the amygdala are related to another fact. These children and teens barely process the feeling of fear. Something like this not only causes them to engage in more impulsive and dangerous behaviors; In addition, they do not experience fear of possible punishment for their aggressive or criminal behavior. It justifies them to do repetitive actions for which they are usually reprimanded.
Limbic system and prefrontal cortex explain emotional coldness
Young people without empathy are very challenging from a psychological and social point of view. Neuroscience provides more and more scientific literature that shows us how various neurobiological disorders shape antisocial behavior in many cases. Thus, one aspect that has already been sufficiently demonstrated is how This condition is more common in the male gender than in the female gender.
Likewise, this emotional insensitivity is the result of various and complex brain dysfunctions that orbit between emotional regions and the prefrontal cortex. If we were talking about the amygdala first, we should also highlight the limbic system related to emotional processing and memory.
Another change has been noted in an investigation conducted at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Basel. There is dysfunction in the white matter fiber tract that connects the limbic system to the prefrontal cortex., This explains the inability to process, control, and understand emotions.
influence of parenting
At this point we can ask ourselves a question. Are young people without empathy emotionally insensitive and who defy authority due to educational factors or neurobiological variables? ok, What must be taken into account is that antisocial behavior has a strong genetic component., It is very likely that a member of the family presents this trait.
On the other hand, there is a very interesting aspect regarding personality disorders. Many of us may have a neurological basis that predisposes us to develop antisocial disorder or psychopathy and not develop these conditions. The simple facts of being educated in an effective, safe family environment and having a happy childhood reduce this risk.
That’s what happened to neurologist James Fallon. After undergoing an MRI, he found that his brain had similarities to those of the inmates with psychopathy or antisocial disorder that he studied daily. In fact, one of her ancestors, Lizzie Borden, was an ax wielder. However, growing up and being lovingly educated meant that this gene was not active.
Although the neurological may condition us, it is the upbringing that determines us almost entirely.
your brain likes jackson pollack
Believe it or not, your brain adores Jackson Pollock. Trying to understand an image from chaos is a huge challenge. trace! read more »