Neural Basis of Psychopathy

Neural Basis of Psychopathy



Neural Basis of Psychopathy

The correlation between the occurrence of psychopathic personality and neurodevelopmental foundations has created research platforms aimed at understanding the neural basis for psychopathy. Accordingly, individuals with psychopathic personas are described by a series of characteristics that include mental-based impairments, interpersonal-affective dimensions such as emotional insufficiency, and antisocial characteristics such as aggression and impulsivity. The development of such characteristics among people identified as psychopaths influences considerable interest particularly in asserting the existence of possible evidence that relates neurobiological development to the origin and progression of psychopathic elements. The article, The Neurobiology of Psychopathy: A Neurodevelopmental Perspective, by Yu Gao, Andrea L. Glenn, Robert A. Schug, Yaling Yang, and Adrian Raine explores this convoluted topic. Research conducted by the authors focuses on the conjectural underpinnings evident in the study of psychopathy. Accordingly, affective-emotional and cognitive deficiencies are associated with abnormal brain configuration as well as function, especially in the orbitofrontal cortex and the amygdala (Gao et al. 2009). The inclination towards a possible relationship between neural-based impairments and the development of psychopathic impairments forms the basis for the article. Measures such as brain imaging are used in order to confirm the validity of this association by illustrating the presence of mental impairments among people described as psychopaths. Aside from this, the article integrates the theoretical foundations explored in neurology, neuropsychology, and psychophysiology in order to reinforce the relationship between psychopathy and abnormal developments in mentality and personality among psychopaths. Such foundations assist in positing neural-based considerations regarding the materialization of psychopathic personalities in children and adults. Lastly, the article establishes a neurodevelopmental presumption regarding psychopathy with evidentiary support from brain imaging results and gene-based studies in order to determine the possible causative factors for psychopathy.


Gao, Y., Glenn, A. L., Schug, R. A., Yang, Y., & Raine, A. (2009). The neurobiology of psychopathy: A neurodevelopmental perspective. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 54(12), 813-823.

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