chapter  6
6 Pages

Psychophysiology

WithYu Gao

In recent years interest in the neurobiological correlates of antisocial behavior and crime has significantly increased. Proved to be valuable in filling the gap between genetic risk for crime and the brain abnormalities that give rise to antisocial and criminal behavior, psychophysiological research has significantly contributed to our empirical understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying crime. 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 advantages of psychophysiological measures include relatively easy data collection (especially heart rate) and noninvasive recording features. This chapter serves as a brief review of findings and theoretical interpretations from key areas of psychophysiological research on antisocial behavior. Finally, the application of psychophysiological approaches in lie detection is briefly mentioned. Extensive introductions to psychophysiological instrumentation,  recording techniques, and other methodological issues may be found in Cacioppo et al.1 The interested reader is also referred to the review by Patrick2 for a more updated summary of research findings on the psychophysiological correlates of antisocial and aggressive behavior.