Weaker brain links found in psychopaths | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News

Weaker brain links found in psychopaths

Decreased communication between emotional and executive centers may contribute

By
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

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content