Neurocognitive Deficits Associated with Antisocial Personality Disorder in Non-treatment-seeking Young Adults.
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a relatively common problem, but the neuropsychological profile of affected individuals has seldom been studied outside of criminal justice recruitment settings. Non-treatment-seeking young adults (18-29 years) were recruited from the general community by media advertisements. Participants with ASPD (n = 17), free from substance use disorders, were compared with matched controls (n = 229) using objective computerized neuropsychological tasks tapping a range of cognitive domains. Compared with controls, individuals with ASPD showed significantly elevated pathological gambling symptoms, previous illegal acts, unemployment, greater nicotine consumption, and relative impairments in response inhibition (Stop-Signal Task) and decision-making (less risk adjustment, Cambridge Gamble Task). General response speed, set-shifting, working memory, and executive planning were intact. ASPD was also associated with higher impulsivity and venturesomeness on the Eysenck Questionnaire. These findings implicate impaired inhibitory control and decision-making in the pathophysiology of ASPD, even in milder manifestations of the disorder. Future work should explore the neural correlates of these impairments and use longitudinal designs to examine the temporal relationship between these deficits, antisocial behavior, and functional impairment.