Deficient response modulation and emotion processing in low-anxious Caucasian psychopathic offenders: results from a lexical decision task.
ABSTRACT The clinical and research literatures on psychopathy have identified an emotion paradox: Psychopaths display normal appraisal but impaired use of emotion cues. Using R. D. Hare's (1991) Psychopathy Checklist-Revised and the G. S. Welsh Anxiety Scale (1956), the authors identified low-anxious psychopaths and controls and examined predictions concerning their performance on a lexical-decision task. Results supported all the predictions: (a) low-anxious psychopaths appraised emotion cues as well as controls; (b) their lexical decisions were relatively unaffected by emotion cues; (c) their lexical decisions were relatively unaffected by affectively neutral word-frequency cues; and (d) their performance deficits were specific to conditions involving right-handed responses. The authors propose that deficient response modulation may underlie both the emotional and cognitive deficits associated with low-anxious psychopaths.
SourceAvailable from: Robert Kane[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study’s primary aim was to investigate if trait anxiety and other emotion processing variables would be additive predictors that will differentially predict primary and secondary psychopathy, as previous research has yet to examine the relative contributions of these constructs in a non-criminal population. A convenience community sample (N = 470) was obtained using an online survey. Structural equation modelling analyses demonstrated that trait anxiety, reappraisal and emotional manipulation are significant predictors of primary psychopathy. Trait anxiety, emotion manipulation, poor emotional skills and general emotion dys-regulation were found to be significant predictors of secondary psychopathy. From these findings, particularly noteworthy relationships are those between trait anxiety and secondary psychopathy (16% of the variance), and emotion manipulation and primary psychopathy (17.64% of the variance). In addition, there was preliminary evidence that emotion processing variables may partially mediate the relationship between trait anxiety and psychopathy subtypes. These findings have important implications, including the relevance of the findings to psychopathy conceptualised as a personality trait and the applicability of the findings in different non-forensic settings.Personality and Individual Differences 09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2014.08.044 · 1.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study presents the first neuroimaging investigation of female psychopathy in an incarcerated population. Prior studies have found that male psychopathy is associated with reduced limbic and paralimbic activation when processing emotional stimuli and making moral judgments. The goal of this study was to investigate whether these findings extend to female psychopathy. During fMRI scanning, 157 incarcerated and 46 non-incarcerated female participants viewed unpleasant pictures, half which depicted moral transgressions, and neutral pictures. Participants rated each picture on moral transgression severity. Psychopathy was assessed using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) in all incarcerated participants. Non-incarcerated participants were included as a control group to derive brain regions of interest associated with viewing unpleasant vs. neutral pictures (emotion contrast), and unpleasant pictures depicting moral transgressions vs. unpleasant pictures without moral transgressions (moral contrast). Regression analyses in the incarcerated group examined the association between PCL-R scores and brain activation in the emotion and moral contrasts. Results of the emotion contrast revealed a negative correlation between PCL-R scores and activation in the right amygdala and rostral anterior cingulate. Results of the moral contrast revealed a negative correlation between PCL-R scores and activation in the right temporo-parietal junction. These results indicate that female psychopathy, like male psychopathy, is characterized by reduced limbic activation during emotion processing. In contrast, reduced temporo-parietal activation to moral transgressions has been less observed in male psychopathy. These results extend prior findings in male psychopathy to female psychopathy, and reveal aberrant neural responses to morally-salient stimuli that may be unique to female psychopathy.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 09/2014; 8:741. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00741 · 2.90 Impact Factor