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This profile was last updated on 6/15/09  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Anneliese A. Pontius

Wrong Dr. Anneliese A. Pontius?

Professor

Neuroeducation
 
Background

Employment History

  • Psychiatrist
    Harvard Medical School
  • Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
    Harvard Medical School

Education

  • M.D.
14 Total References
Web References
Posted on behalf of Anneliese A. ...
dev.dana.org, 15 June 2009 [cached]
Posted on behalf of Anneliese A. Pontius:
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Anneliese A. Pontius, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor (ret.), Harvard Medical School
Crime Times- linking brain dysfunction to disordered/ criminal/ psychopathic behavior
www.crimetimes.org, 3 Jan 2008 [cached]
Harvard psychiatrist Anneliese Pontius believes that some "loners" who commit senseless acts of violence are suffering from a seizure disorder she has dubbed "limbic psychotic trigger reaction."
Pontius, who has examined hundreds of violent criminals, has documented the cases of 17 individuals she believes suffer from the syndrome. These individuals (13 murderers, three arsonists, and a bank robber) are characterized, she says, by the following pattern:
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Because her subjects were "loners," Pontius believes they may have brooded continually over mild traumas or slights, rather than talking them over with friends or family, and that this brooding eventually "kindled" seizures when subjects were exposed to people or objects that triggered their obsessive memories.
While Pontius's theory is provocative, other researchers suggest that her subjects' violent outbursts stemmed not from "kindling," but from overt brain damage. Paul MacLean, of the National Institute of Mental Health, says, "I think there must be lesions of some kind in most of Pontius's cases; we just haven't seen them yet."
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Pontius is not the first researcher to link a specific criminal behavior pattern to seizure activity.
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"Retroductive reasoning in a proposed subtype of partial seizures, evoked by limbic `kindling,'" Anneliese A. Pontius, Psychological Reports, Vol. 76, 1995, pp. 55-62. Address: Anneliese A. Pontius, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114.
The essay examines the work of ...
lizzieandrewborden.com [cached]
The essay examines the work of Dr. Anneliese Pontius, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. For 15 years, Pontius has been piecing together clues to understand the bizarre behavior of a young man, with a history of schizophrenia, who "returned home from a hitchhiking journey to find his brother in the kitchen receiving lessons from a home instructor.
...
According to Pontius, the crimes are the tragic result of "electrical storms"-or seizures-in a constellation of brain structures known collectively as the limbic system. Normally, the limbic system, which mediates the basic drives of eating, sex and predation, is under the control of the ponderous frontal lobes. The frontal lobes filter the impulses generated by the limbic system, okaying some, disallowing others.
However, during a seizure, the limbic system may shake loose from the frontal behemoth, essentially bypassing the "permission" of the normally dominant frontal lobes, resulting in an uncensored-and irrational-drive to kill.
Pontius believes that random, though highly specific, external stimuli-such as a meaningful photograph or library card, or a bodily movement, such as reaching into a pocket-revive old memories that in turn ignite the limbic storm.
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They long for human contact," Pontius says, adding that their social isolation prevented them from releasing old memories. None had any reason to kill; many attacks, such as the fly-fishing case, were against total strangers in full view of witnesses. All felt no emotion while committing their crimes. "Like the animal who kills doesn't hate his prey," Pontius says.
"Normally, the frontal lobe is very much in control to give us decent socialized behavior," she explains. What helps trigger the electrical storm, she believes, is the abnormal social isolation of these people.
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Pontius believes that although people who commit crimes as a result of limbic seizures are aware of what they are doing, they are not, in a legal sense, "responsible" for their actions.
21 | September | 2006 | Mondo Lizzie Borden
lizzieandrewborden.com [cached]
The essay examines the work of Dr. Anneliese Pontius, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. For 15 years, Pontius has been piecing together clues to understand the bizarre behavior of a young man, with a history [...]
Seizures
www.bodylice.com, 20 Dec 2006 [cached]
Harvard psychiatrist Anneliese Pontius believes that some "loners" who commit senseless acts of violence are suffering from a seizure disorder she has dubbed "limbic psychotic trigger reaction."
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