Bullies' brains empathize, but with a twist

Adolescents with conduct disorder show greater activity in pain and reward regions of the brain while viewing clips of painful situations

By Elizabeth Quill, 19:21 PM February 15, 2009

CHICAGO — Seeing a hand slammed in a car door makes most people cringe. But others seem to lack such empathy, which might help explain why some are capable of repeatedly inflicting pain on others.

Now a study suggests that adolescents with aggressive conduct disorder — characterized by physical aggression, bullying and disregard for rules — may have robust rather than blunted reactions to others’ pain. Such adolescents may even get pleasure out of viewing other people in discomfort, Jean De...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/bullies-brains-empathize-twist