Frontal P300 decrements, alcohol dependence, and antisocial personality disorder

Laura Costa, Lance Bauer, Samuel Kuperman, Bernice Porjesz, Sean O'Connor, Victor Hesselbrock, John Rohrbaugh, Henri Begleiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the independent and interactive effects of alcohol dependence, antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), and age on brain function. Methods: P300 event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 393 alcohol-dependent and 170 non-alcohol-dependent adults while they performed a visual oddball task. The two subject groups were further subdivided based upon age and the presence/absence of ASPD. Results: Alcohol dependence was associated with a significant P300 amplitude decrement at anterior electrode sites only. Antisocial personality disorder was also associated with reduced P300 amplitudes at anterior electrode sites; however, the effects were only significant among subjects 30 years of age or younger. To validate this association between ASPD and P300 amplitude a correlational analysis was performed; the correlation between anterior P300 amplitude and the total number of childhood conduct disorder and adult ASPD symptoms was significant. Conclusions: The P300 amplitude decrement found at anterior electrode sites among subjects with ASPD is consistent with the results of numerous ERP, neuroimaging, or neuropsychologic studies of anterior brain function. Our study is unique in suggesting that the effects of ASPD on anterior brain function are best detected during early adulthood. The study also suggests that the detrimental neurophysiologic effects of alcohol dependence predominantly involve the anterior brain. Copyright (C) 2000 Society of Biological Psychiatry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1064-1071
Number of pages8
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000


  • Alcohol dependence
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Conduct disorder
  • EEG
  • Evoked potentials
  • P300

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

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    Costa, L., Bauer, L., Kuperman, S., Porjesz, B., O'Connor, S., Hesselbrock, V., Rohrbaugh, J., & Begleiter, H. (2000). Frontal P300 decrements, alcohol dependence, and antisocial personality disorder. Biological psychiatry, 47(12), 1064-1071.