Antisocial Behavior and the Striatum

A newly published review in Biological Psychiatry entitled The Potential Role of the Striatum in Antisocial Behavior and Psychopathology by Andrea L. Glenn and Yaling Yang examines evidence of structural abnormalities in individuals with antisocial behavior and psychopathy. The striatum is a subcortical structure within the forebrain that plays a role in processing information having to do with reward. The authors review several structural imaging studies that suggest greater volume of the striatum in individuals with antisocial behavior, as well as functional imaging studies that suggest increased activation of the striatum in antisocial individuals. According to the authors, the data suggests a failure of the striatum in antisocial individuals to adequately process the absence of a reward, which in turn leads to inappropriate responding to a stimulus that is no longer providing a reward.