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Autonomic orienting responses in 15-year-old male subjects and criminal behavior at age 24
Am J Psychiatry 1990;147:933-937.
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Abstract

This prospective study analyzed relationships between skin conductance and heart rate measures of orienting in a noninstitutionalized sample of 101 15-year-old male subjects and criminal behavior as assessed at age 24 years. Subjects with a criminal record at age 24 (N = 17) had significantly smaller skin conductance responses and smaller heart rate deceleratory and acceleratory responses than the other subjects (N = 84). Lack of any skin conductance response was significantly more prevalent in subjects with a criminal record (31%) than in the control subjects (10%). These results implicate deficits in orienting with the later development of criminal behavior. The authors hypothesize that the genetic predisposition to criminal behavior may find its expression in part through smaller autonomic orienting.

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