Philosophy and Religion
It is likely that an underlying biological precondition of antisocial personality disorder is an underactive mirror neuron system. Mirror neurons are brain cells that respond equally when we perform an action and when we witness someone else perform the same action (Winerman). Mirror neurons influence empathy, and a lack of empathy is characteristic of antisocial personality disorder. Those with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate, or treat others either harshly or with callous indifference. People who rank high on a scale measuring empathy have particularly active mirror neuron systems (Blakeslee). If it’s too active then it can cause mirror – touch synesthesia, where when another person gets touched, the synesthete feels a touch on their own body (Choi). In current research, individuals in a non-psychiatric sample have been shown to rank higher in cold-heartedness if they have the least mirror neuron function (Fecteau and others). It is logical then, that if the mirror neuron system is underactive, this could be a factor in antisocial personality disorder.