Event-related potentials in impulsively aggressive juveniles: a retrospective chart-review study.
1. The purpose of the present study was to determine the cognitive psychophysiological correlates of impulsive aggression in a population considered "normal" by societal standards: college students. 2. Auditory event-related potentials were acquired on all subjects during a standard oddball task. The stimuli consisted of a random sequence of two tones, a frequent 1,000 Hz tone and a rare 2,000 Hz tone. Tones were presented in a ratio of 80/20. 3. Results of the study demonstrated that impulsive aggressive subjects show significantly lower P300 amplitude at frontal electrode sites when compared to nonaggressive controls. 4. These findings are consistent with the psychophysiological findings in impulsive aggressive incarcerated criminals and support the notion of a specific behavioral syndrome associated with spontaneous aggressive outbursts.