Article

Response reversal and children with psychopathic tendencies: success is a function of salience of contingency change.

Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Heath, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2670, USA.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 5.67). 10/2005; 46(9):972-81. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00398.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous work has inconsistently reported difficulties with response reversal/extinction in children with psychopathic tendencies.
We tested the hypothesis that the degree of impairment seen in children with psychopathic tendencies is a function of the salience of contingency change. We investigated the performance of children with psychopathic tendencies on a novel probabilistic response reversal task involving four conditions with gradated reward-punishment contingencies (100-0, 90-10, 80-20 and 70-30; i.e., for the 100-0 contingency, responding to one object is always rewarded while responding to the other is always punished).
In line with predictions, the impairment seen in the children with psychopathic tendencies was an inverse function of the salience of the contingency change.
We suggest that this data is consistent with suggestions of subtle orbital frontal cortex impairment in children with psychopathic tendencies.

1 Follower
 · 
83 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Criminal psychopathy is defined by emotional detachment (Psychopathy Checklist – Revised [PCL-R] factor 1), and antisocial behaviour (PCL-R factor 2). Previous work has associated antisocial behaviour in psychopathy with abnormalities in a ventral temporo-amygdala-orbitofrontal network. However, little is known of the neural correlates of emotional detachment. Imaging studies have indicated that the ‘default-mode network’ (DMN), and in particular its dorsomedial (medial prefrontal – posterior cingulate) component, contributes to affective and social processing in healthy individuals. Furthermore, recent work suggests that this network may be implicated in psychopathy. However, no research has examined the relationship between psychopathy, emotional detachment, and the white matter underpinning the DMN. We therefore used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography in 13 offenders with psychopathy and 13 non-offenders to investigate the relationship between emotional detachment and the microstructure of white matter connections within the DMN. These included the dorsal cingulum (containing the medial prefrontal – posterior cingulate connections of the DMN), and the ventral cingulum (containing the posterior cingulate – medial temporal connections of the DMN). We found that fractional anisotropy was reduced in the left dorsal cingulum in the psychopathy group (p = .024). Moreover, within this group, emotional detachment was negatively correlated with fractional anisotropy in this tract portion bilaterally (left: r = -.61, p = .026; right: r = -.62, p = .023). These results suggest the importance of the dorsal DMN in the emotional detachment observed in individuals with psychopathy. We propose a ‘dual-network’ model of white matter abnormalities in the disorder, which incorporates these with previous findings.
    Cortex 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.cortex.2014.07.018 · 6.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Conduct disorder (CD) is one of the most common behavior disorders in adolescents, such as impulsivity, aggression, and running from school. Males are more likely to develop CD than females, and two previous diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have demonstrated abnormal microstructural integrity in the uncinate fasciculus (UF) in boys with CD compared to a healthy control group. However, little is known about changes in the UF in females with CD. In this study, the UF was illustrated by tractography; then, the fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity, mean diffusion, radial diffusivity (RD), and the length and number of the UF fiber bundles were compared between male and female patients with CD and between female patients with CD and female healthy controls, as well as between males with CD and healthy males. We found that males with CD showed significantly higher FA of the bilateral UF and significantly lower RD of the left UF when comparing with females with CD. Meanwhile, significantly higher FA and lower RD of the bilateral UF were also found in boys with CD relative to the male healthy controls. Our results replicated previous reports that the microstructural integrity of the UF was abnormal in boys with CD. Additionally, our results demonstrated significant gender effects on the UF of patients with CD, which may indicate why boys have higher rates of conduct problems than girls.
    04/2014; 2014:673165. DOI:10.1155/2014/673165