An international team of neuroscientists scanned the brains of bullies and found something dark: their brain seems physically smaller than other people’s. The results of a study published in the journal The Lancet, confirm the findings of scientists that a small proportion of people with persistent antisocial behavior throughout life may be some differences in the structure and size of the brain, which impede the development of social skills that prevent antisocial behavior. During the work, the team used MRI to study the brain more than 1000 participants. It turned out, the cerebral cortex bullies not only much thinner than all the rest, but the brain less.
Abnormalities in brain structure
Persistent antisocial behavior in adults is correlated with abnormalities of brain structure in adulthood. In the course of work, the research team collected data structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) more than 1030 of the subjects. At the time of data collection the subjects was 45 years, however, behavior problems were observed in them since the age of three. Scientists wanted to find out whether anti-social behavior abnormalities in the average surface area and average thickness of the cerebral cortex. Four subjects were excluded from the study as a result of tumors or brain injuries.
After studying the MRI data scientists regarded 12% of participants as demonstrating persistent anti-social behaviour throughout life; 23% – demonstrates limited antisocial behavior in adolescence; 66% – demonstrated a low anti-social behaviour. The researchers also found that a smaller average surface area and smaller average thickness of the cortex was more prominent in participants with stable antisocial behavior throughout life compared to other subjects. The authors suggest that the majority of people with stable antisocial behavior there are difficulties in the development of social skills. According to lead author of the study Christine Carlisi, researchers from University College London, these people need support.
However, there is an important exception: in the brain of people who have shown antisocial behaviour only in adolescence, not in adulthood, there were no such deviations. This is good news for all reformed bullies, but bad for those who have and in adulthood is observed antisocial behavior. The study also showed that the brain of those who were seen in “theft, aggression and violence, intimidation, lies or repeated failure to fulfill obligations at work or at school” physically different from the brain of other participants.