Weaker brain links found in psychopaths | Science News


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Weaker brain links found in psychopaths

Decreased communication between emotional and executive centers may contribute

3:32pm, November 30, 2011

Brain differences might help explain psychopaths’ cold, calculated and often antisocial behavior, and perhaps even point out better ways to treat or prevent the disorder, a study of Wisconsin prison inmates suggests.

Compared with a group of 13 non-psychopathic criminals, a group of 14 psychopaths had weaker connections between an area near the front of the brain called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, or vmPFC, and the amygdala, a pair of almond-shaped structures deep in the brain. Earlier studies have hinted that this particular link is important for emotional regulation and aggression.

Neuroscientist Michael Koenigs of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and c

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