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

ABSTRACT 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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    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 12/2014; 8:425. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00425 · 4.16 Impact Factor
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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.
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter reviews the existing literature on physiological correlates of psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, and persistent violence/aggression. Coverage is provided of findings from studies utilizing peripheral, electrocortical, and neuroimaging measures. The review begins with a discussion of how psychopathy and antisocial personality are defined, and how these conditions relate to one another and to violent behavior. A case is made that the relationships psychopathy and ASPD show with violent and aggressive behavior, and similarities and differences in associations of each with physiological measures of various types can be understood in terms of symptomatic features these conditions have in common versus features that distinguish them. Following this, an overview is provided of major lines of evidence emerging from psychophysiological and neuroimaging studies conducted to date on these conditions. The final section of the chapter summarizes what has been learned from these existing studies and discusses implications and directions for future research.

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