Disturbed Prefrontal and Temporal Brain Function During Emotion and Cognition Interaction in Criminal Psychopathy

Department of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychotherapy,University of Göttingen, Von Siebold Strasse 5, D-37075 Göttingen, Germany.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law (Impact Factor: 0.96). 01/2008; 26(1):131-50. DOI: 10.1002/bsl.796
Source: PubMed


Impaired emotional responsiveness has been revealed as a hallmark of psychopathy. In spite of an increasing database on emotion processing, studies on cognitive function and in particular on the impact of emotion on cognition in psychopathy are rare. We used pictures from the International Affective Picture Set (IAPS) and a Simon Paradigm to address emotion-cognition interaction while functional and structural imaging data were obtained in 12 healthy controls and 10 psychopaths. We found an impaired emotion-cognition interaction in psychopaths that correlated with a changed prefrontal and temporal brain activation. With regard to the temporal cortex, it is shown that structure and function of the right superior temporal gyrus is disturbed in psychopathy, supporting a neurobiological approach to psychopathy, in which structure and function of the right STG may be important.

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Available from: Jürgen L. Müller, Oct 03, 2015
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    • "usiform , temporal , precentral , cerebellum , and IFG response to positive stimuli Less occipital , MFG , and MTG response to positive stimuli More response in occipital , MTG , precentral gyrus , STG , IFG and MFG , ACC and AMY to negative stimuli Less activation in ACC , MTG , fusiform , and parahippocampal gyrus in response to negative stimuli Müller et al . , 2008 10 high PP offenders ( PCL - R > 28 ) ; 12 controls"
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Psychopathy is a personality disorder that involves a constellation of traits including callous-unemotionality, manipulativeness and impulsiveness. Here we review recent advances in the research of functional neural correlates of psychopathic personality traits in adults.Method We first provide a concise overview of functional neuroimaging findings in clinical samples diagnosed with PCL-R. We then review studies with community samples that have focused on how individual differences in psychopathic traits (variously measured) relate to individual differences in brain function. Where appropriate, we draw parallels between the findings from these studies and those with clinical samples.ResultsExtant data suggest that individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits show lower activity in affect processing brain areas to emotional/salient stimuli, and attenuated activity may be dependent on the precise content of the task. They also seem to show higher activity in regions typically associated with reward processing and cognitive control in tasks involving moral processing, decision-making and reward. Furthermore, affective-interpersonal and lifestyle-antisocial facets of psychopathy appear to be associated with different patterns of atypical neural activity.Conclusions Neuroimaging findings from community samples typically mirror those observed in clinical samples, and largely support the notion that psychopathy is a dimensional construct.
    Journal of Personality 07/2014; DOI:10.1111/jopy.12113 · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    • "Abnormalities have been found in other brain structures such as grey matter volume (Gregory et al., 2012) and white matter connections (Craig et al., 2009). Mü ller et al. (2008) implied that a free flow of impulses between the frontal cortex as well as temporo-limbic areas in psychopaths is significantly hindered. Additionally, deficits in prefrontal and subcortical regions of the brain may have an adverse effect on the expression of emotional impulses (Coccaro et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to present and provide a critical review of most recent studies inquiring into brain abnormalities in psychopathy. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The authors provide an overview of the findings of neurobiological studies conducted in the last five years. Publications chosen for review were found using Web of Science, PsycINFO and Scopus search engines. Findings ‐ Data in the literature reveal that psychopathy is associated with brain abnormalities in frontal and temporo-limbic regions, i.e. regions responsible for moral decision making, emotional processing and learning. Additionally, interactions between the brain areas have been identified as crucial for the development of psychopathic personality traits. Research findings suggest that the flow of impulses between the frontal cortex and temporo-limbic structures in psychopaths is significantly hindered. Originality/value ‐ The current paper provides an in-depth review of most recent neurobiological studies inquiring into brain abnormalities associated with psychopathic personality traits. Moreover, a particular attention has been paid to identifying abnormalities in brain structures not previously studied in relation to psychopathy (e.g. mirror neuron system, white matter connections).
    Mental Health Review Journal 06/2014; 19(2). DOI:10.1108/MHRJ-10-2013-0034
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    • "Müller J.L. et al. found significant gray matter reductions in the frontal and temporal brain regions in psychopaths compared with controls, especially a highly significant volume loss in the right superior temporal gyrus [42]. Further more, an impaired emotion–cognition interaction in psychopaths that correlated with changed prefrontal and temporal brain activation [43]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) is a personality disorder that is most commonly associated with the legal and criminal justice systems. The study of the brain in APD has important implications in legal contexts and in helping ensure social stability. However, the neural contribution to the high prevalence of APD is still unclear. In this study, we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the underlying neural mechanisms of APD. Thirty-two healthy individuals and thirty-five patients with APD were recruited. The amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) was analyzed for the whole brain of all subjects. Our results showed that APD patients had a significant reduction in the ALFF in the right orbitofrontal cortex, the left temporal pole, the right inferior temporal gyrus, and the left cerebellum posterior lobe compared to normal controls. We observed that the right orbitofrontal cortex had a negative correlation between ALFF values and MMPI psychopathic deviate scores. Alterations in ALFF in these specific brain regions suggest that APD patients may be associated with abnormal activities in the fronto-temporal network. We propose that our results may contribute in a clinical and forensic context to a better understanding of APD.
    PLoS ONE 03/2014; 9(3):e89790. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0089790 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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