New Study Finds Evidence Of Brain Differences In Psychopaths

August 4, 2009

UK (ChattahBox) – For many years psychologists and researchers have theorized that psychopaths may have differences within the brain that have an impact on their criminal, and especially violent, behavior. Now, they have the proof.

A team of researchers from King’s College London have used powerful imaging equipment to log distinct differences in the brains of violent offenders.

The offenders were in the prison system for crimes such as manslaughter, murder, attempted murder, serial rape, and other violent offenses.

Using a DT-MRI, the researchers looked at the brains of each offender, and compared it to normal, healthy brains of non-offenders.

In the scans, it was found that the uncinate fasciculus was significantly smaller and underdeveloped.

The uncinate fasciculus (UF) is a pathway within the brain that runs between two other portions: the amygdale, and the orbitofrontal cortex (OF). These two portions are partially responsible to regulating emotion and empathy, and for allowing for decision making and impulse control.

The fact that the pathway itself is in some way damaged or underdeveloped is a significant find. It is the first real evidence that shows just how a psychopath’s brain differs from a normal one, not just that it does.

While not enough to make a diagnosis on it’s own, this study offers a real step towards greater understanding of this phenomenon.

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