Luke Hyde

Luke HydeKids displaying antisocial behavior can get better with the right supports, according to a Nov. 5 article in The Los Angeles Times. The Times reported the results of a study conducted by ISR researcher Luke Hyde and a group of colleagues who used neurogenetics—a combination of genetics, neuroscience, and psychology—to understand why some kids behave in extreme ways. The researchers found that when the amygdala—the part of the brain that processes fear and visceral emotions—is stimulated, children are more likely to become anxious and overreact. That link becomes stronger if a child isn’t getting help from family, neighbors, or professionals. Examples of extreme behavior include cruelty to animals, lack of guilt, lying, sneakiness, and continued bad behavior after punishment. “The results of this test aren’t really meaningful until age 3 or 3 ½,” said Hyde. “Before that, many of these behaviors are fairly common and don’t predict anything. But after age 3, if children are still behaving in these ways, their behavior is more likely to escalate in the following years rather than improve.”