Frontal-lobe dysfunction and antisocial behavior: a review

J Clin Psychol. 1989 May;45(3):404-13. doi: 10.1002/1097-4679(198905)45:3<404::aid-jclp2270450309>;2-g.


Despite the many functions attributed to the frontal-lobe in previous writings and studies, empirically derived and reliable frontal-lobe abilities are limited and specific. Research that examines frontal-lobe dysfunction (as evidenced by neuropsychological tests that measure these specific abilities) and its relationship to antisocial behavior is reviewed. Frontal-lobe dysfunction is discussed in the context of the "minimal brain dysfunction" hypothesis of criminal behavior. Three studies reviewed examine criminal behavior, three examine specifically violent criminal behavior, and three focus on psychopathy. The nature of the research reviewed leaves the relationship between frontal-lobe neuropsychological dysfunction and crime open to further study.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests