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The neural correlates of emotion processing in juvenile offenders

Pincham, HL; Bryce, D; Pasco Fearon, RM; (2015) The neural correlates of emotion processing in juvenile offenders. Developmental Science , 18 (6) pp. 994-1005. 10.1111/desc.12262. Green open access

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Abstract

Individuals with severe antisocial behaviour often demonstrate abnormalities or difficulties in emotion processing. Antisocial behaviour typically onsets before adulthood and is reflected in antisocial individuals at the biological level. We therefore conducted a brain-based study of emotion processing in juvenile offenders. Male adolescent offenders and age-matched non-offenders passively viewed emotional images whilst their brain activity was recorded using electroencephalography. The early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP) components were used as indices of emotion processing. For both juvenile offenders and non-offenders, the EPN differentiated unpleasant images from other image types, suggesting that early perceptual processing was not impaired in the offender group. In line with normal emotion processing, the LPP was significantly enhanced following unpleasant images for non-offenders. However, for juvenile offenders, the LPP did not differ across image categories, indicative of deficient emotional processing. The findings indicated that this brain-based hypo-reactivity occurred during a late stage of cognitive processing and was not a consequence of atypical early visual attention or perception. This study is the first to show attenuated emotion processing in juvenile offenders at the neural level. Overall, these results have the potential to inform interventions for juvenile offending.

Type: Article
Title: The neural correlates of emotion processing in juvenile offenders
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/desc.12262
Publisher version: http://dx.oi.org/10.1111/desc.12262
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. Developmental Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1457184
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