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This paper considers neurocognitive models of aggression and
relates them to explanations of the antisocial personality disorders. Two forms of aggression are distinguished: reactive aggression elicited
in response to frustration/threat and goal directed, instrumental
aggression. It is argued that different forms of neurocognitive model
are necessary to explain the emergence of these different forms of
aggression. Impairments in executive emotional systems (the somatic
marker system or the social response reversal system) are related to
reactive aggression shown by patients with "acquired sociopathy"
due to orbitofrontal cortex lesions. Impairment in the capacity to form
associations between emotional unconditioned stimuli, particularly
distress cues, and conditioned stimuli (the violence inhibition
mechanism model) is related to the instrumental aggression shown by
persons with developmental psychopathy.