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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    • "Patrick et al., 1993; Patrick et al., 1994). While some demonstrate that antisocial individuals report less emotional loading than normal controls (Pham et al., 2000; Eisenbarth et al., 2008; Hastings et al., 2008), others show identical emotional response patterns to the same stimuli (Patrick et al., 1994; Levenston et al., 2000; Pastor et al., 2003; Müller et al., 2008). This inconsistency, where studies rely on self-report measures, is at odds with psychophysiological data that show that emotional stimuli do not produce the same brain and somatic states in individuals with and without such personality difficulties (for a review, see Ishikawa and Raine, 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Study of emotional responses of antisocial individuals has produced inconsistent findings. Some studies report emotional deficits, while others find no differences between people with and without antisocial behaviours. Our aim was to apply signal detection theory methods to compare the sensitivity of antisocial and control participants to emotional stimuli. We hypothesised that offenders would show lower ability to discriminate changes in the level of arousal and valence of emotional stimuli relative to the controls. Signal detection theory was applied to study the sensitivity of recidivist offenders in prison to emotional arousal and valence induced by pictures. This approach, novel in this context, provides a departure from the usual reliance on self-report. Offenders reported higher arousal than controls but showed lower sensitivity to changes between different levels of arousal (whereas no differences were found for valence). Also, offenders showed increased response bias for changes in the levels of arousal, as well as in the higher levels of valence. Our findings show that direct observations of emotional arousal, but not valence, discriminate between recidivist offenders with antisocial personality disorder and non-offending controls. Use of such approaches is likely to provide more valid data than self-reports and may prove particularly useful in studies of intervention for recidivists or in assessment of their readiness for release. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Personality
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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).
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Mental Health Review Journal
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