Within the past several years, neuroimaging research on personality disorders has begun to develop. Personality disorders can be thought of as trait-like dysfunctional patterns in cognitive, affective, impulse control, and interpersonal domains. These domains of dysfunction have been linked to specific neural circuits. Developments in brain imaging techniques have allowed researchers to examine the neural integrity of these circuits in personality-disordered individuals. This article reviews the neuroimaging literature on borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder (including psychopathy) and schizotypal personality disorder. Functional and structural studies provide support for dysfunction in fronto-limbic circuits in borderline and antisocial personality disorder, whereas temporal lobe and basal striatal-thalamic compromise is evident in schizotypal personality disorder.
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