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PsychopathyAn Introduction to Biological Findings and Their Implications$
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Andrea L. Glenn and Adrian Raine

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814777053

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814777053.001.0001

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Biosocial and Environmental Influences

Biosocial and Environmental Influences

(p.131) 6 Biosocial and Environmental Influences

Andrea L. Glenn

Adrian Raine

NYU Press

This chapter looks at how environmental factors—such as parenting, abuse, poverty, head injury, birth complications, nutrition, toxins, and a variety of other factors—can contribute to psychopathy. As discussed in Chapter 2, these factors have the ability to change gene transcription, or the way in which a gene's DNA sequence produces proteins. This may, in turn, alter neurochemical signaling mechanisms or the way that the brain develops. Environmental factors can also alter levels of neurochemicals such as hormones. For example, trauma or chronic stress can alter cortisol levels and thus change the way the brain responds to stress in the future. Finally, environmental influences in the womb or in early childhood can alter the way that the brain develops, leading to differences in structure and functioning.

Keywords:   psychopathy, gene transcription, DNA, neurochemical signaling mechanisms, neurochemicals, cortisol

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