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Impaired attentional and socio-affective networks in subjects with antisocial behaviors: a meta-analysis of resting-state functional connectivity studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2021

Jules Roger Dugré
Research Center of the Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Department of Psychiatry and Addictology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Stéphane Potvin*
Research Center of the Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Department of Psychiatry and Addictology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Author for correspondence: Jules Roger Dugré, E-mail:; Stéphane Potvin, E-mail:


In the past decade, there has been a growing interest in examining resting-state functional connectivity deficits in subjects with conduct and antisocial personality disorder. Through meta-analyses and literature reviews, extensive work has been done to characterize their abnormalities in brain activation during a wide range of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tasks. However, there is currently no meta-analytical evidence regarding neural connectivity patterns during resting-state fMRI. Therefore, we conducted a coordinate-based meta-analysis of resting-state fMRI studies on individuals exhibiting antisocial behaviors. Of the retrieved studies, 18 used a seed-based connectivity approach (513 cases v. 488 controls), 20 employed a non-seed-based approach (453 cases v. 460 controls) and 20 included a correlational analysis between the severity of antisocial behaviors and connectivity patterns (3462 subjects). Meta-analysis on seed-based studies revealed significant connectivity deficits in the amygdala, middle cingulate cortex, ventral posterior cingulate cortex-precuneus, ventromedial and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, premotor cortex, and superior parietal lobule. Additionally, non-seed-based meta-analysis showed increased connectivity in the ventral posterior cingulate cortex and decreased connectivity in the parietal operculum, calcarine cortex, and cuneus. Finally, we found meta-analytical evidence for negative relationship between the severity of antisocial behaviors and connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Functional characterization and meta-analytical connectivity modeling indicated that these findings overlapped with socio-affective and attentional processes. This further underscores the importance of these functions in the pathophysiology of conduct and antisocial personality disorders.

Review Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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