Neurobiologic correlates of violence: relevance to criminal responsibility
Article first published online: 21 DEC 1998
Copyright © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Special Issue: Impulsive Aggression
Volume 16, Issue 3, pages 303–318, Summer 1998
How to Cite
Berman, M. E. and Coccaro, E. F. (1998), Neurobiologic correlates of violence: relevance to criminal responsibility. Behav. Sci. Law, 16: 303–318. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-0798(199822)16:3<303::AID-BSL309>3.0.CO;2-C
- Issue published online: 21 DEC 1998
- Article first published online: 21 DEC 1998
- National Institute of Mental Health. Grant Number: MH57133
- Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation
Studies addressing the relationship between neurotransmitter functioning and violent crime are reviewed. A rich literature exists to support the notion that monoamine (i.e., serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine) neurotransmitter functioning is related to human aggressive behaviour. Results from these studies provide, at best, indirect evidence that neurotransmitter abnormalities are involved in violent criminal behavior. Few studies have specifically addressed the role of neurotransmitter functioning in violent crime. To illustrate how current knowledge in this area has been applied in forensic settings, a case study in which neurotransmitter functioning was introduced as evidence to support an insanity defense is presented. Potential problems associated with such defenses are discussed. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.