Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Anneliese RadkeEmail author
  • Deborah A. Cahn-Weiner
  • Julene K. Johnson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1293




Disinhibition can be defined as the inability to withhold a prepotent response or suppress an inappropriate or unwanted behavior. It can refer to the production of socially inappropriate comments and/or actions.

Historical Background

Inhibition has been a topic of study in the field of psychology and physiology since the nineteenth century. Early work on inhibition focused on trying to understand control of behavior and the interaction between structure and function. Many scholars were involved in shaping early ideas about inhibition, and the following are noteworthy contributors: Marshall Hall, Alexander Bain, Theodor Ribot, Ivan Pavlov, and B.F. Skinner.

Current Knowledge

Disinhibition can include a wide variety of behaviors, such as impulsivity (e.g., aggression, impatience, binge eating, gambling), risk taking, novelty or sensation seeking, carelessness, perseveration, acquired extroversion, nonplanning, a preference for smaller immediate rewards...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anneliese Radke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Deborah A. Cahn-Weiner
    • 1
  • Julene K. Johnson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Center for Aging in Diverse CommunitiesUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA