Research at Cambridge University has found a link between delinquent behaviour in children and reduced levels of the so-called stress hormone, cortisol, which “enhances memory formation and is thought to make people behave more cautiously and to help them regulate their emotions, particularly their temper and violent impulses.”
First of all, I find this a little worrying, as it seems to be part of a trend to reduce all psychiatric problems (especially in kids) to phenomena that can be regulated with the correct cocktail of chemicals. Secondly, assuming for a moment that the link is confirmed, is this a recent development? In other words, have low-cortisol brains evolved as a response to an increasingly stressful world, or is the cause environmental?
And thirdly, has anyone thought of doing cortisol level testing on politicians? [story via FuturePundit]