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Study: Psychopaths’ Brains Wired Differently

August 4th 2009

The brain wiring of psychopaths varies significantly from ordinary people and may provide a biological breakdown of the disorder.
By Anelise Qumerais

The brain wiring of psychopaths varies significantly from ordinary people and may provide a biological breakdown of the disorder, according to a recent study released by British scientists.

Scientists at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College in London studied nine men who had been diagnosed as psychopaths and had violent criminal histories. They used a powerful imaging technique called DT-MRI to isolate biological differences in the brains of psychopaths that may help establish certain behavior.

The researchers found that a tract connecting the amygdala to the orbitofrontal cortex varied greatly between psychopaths and ordinary people.

“If replicated by larger studies, the significance of these findings cannot be underestimated,” said lead researcher Dr. Michael Craig, ScienceDaily reports. “The suggestion of a clear structural deficit in the brains of psychopaths has profound implications for clinicians, research scientists and the criminal justice system.”

Psychopaths are typified by uninhibited impulses, both criminal and sexual, and rarely display remorse for their actions. They are typically associated with violently criminal behavior.