Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Psychophysiology and Crime
Yu Gao & Adrian Raine
Psychophysiological research has contributed to a significant empirical understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying crime. There is now little scientific doubt that genes play a significant role in antisocial behavior. With the advantages of ease of data collection (especially heart rate) and their noninvasive features, psychophysiological measures have proved to be valuable in filling the gap between genetic risk for crime and the brain abnormalities that give rise to antisocial, violent, and psychopathic behavior in some people. Most psychophysiological research has assessed autonomic and central nervous system functioning at a baseline level or in response to external stimuli using measures such as skin conductance activity, heart rate, startle blink, electroencephalography (EEG), and event-related potentials (ERPs). The psychophysiological correlates of criminality are summarized in the following sections: autonomic arousal, orienting, fear conditioning, emotion modulation, and EEG/ERPs. In each section, empirical findings are first summarized and followed by theoretical interpretations. Finally, important ...