Historically, the evidence for a genetic predisposition to APD has come from studies of monozygotic (identical) twins reared apart.
The fact that the twin of an individual with an antisocial behavior history is more likely to show the same kind of behaviors despite being raised in a different environment argues for a genetic predisposition to the disorder.
Show most people a picture of something typically associated with a sentiment (e.g., a wedding ceremony), and areas of the brain that process information about the event as well as areas of the brain involved in emotion both show activity.
And while much of the research of late has focused on the most extreme cases (i.e.
And we have to remember, that given their predatory instincts, and the lack of dragons in our midst, if we’re not careful, they’ll prey on us.
Some have suggested that psychopaths might rightfully be considered a different species because they’re so different with respect to the critical attributes that most of us think define us “human.” But there’s certainly no solid scientific foundation for that notion.
The “concordance” rate between twins reared apart for the various traits associated with APD, DPD, psychopathy and sociopathy is not strong enough to confirm a strictly genetic basis, but there can be no doubting a strong biologically-based predisposition.
And one fairly recent study on monozygotic twins reared apart demonstrated that the biological predisposition toward empathy deficiency shows up even in children as young as 7 years old (see: ).
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Other brains studies measuring different aspects of the integration of emotions with other human experiences have shown the same abnormalities when it comes to psychopaths. And would it be fair to say that all the disturbed characters among us are simply born the way they are? Suffice it to say that many of the traditional assumptions about traumatic or impoverished environments being the “cause” of some of these conditions have now been rightfully and significantly challenged.