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Psychopaths have faulty brain connections, scientists find

Totally fascinating, and slightly off-topic.  What happens when it becomes evident that our behavior, our "free choice," morals, reaction to the world, are dictated by biology?  (h/t Tyler Durden) – Ilene

Psychopaths have faulty brain connections, scientists find

Brain section, Schizophrenia PET scanBy Kate Kelland, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Psychopaths who kill and rape have faulty connections between the part of the brain dealing with emotions and that which handles impulses and decision-making, scientists have found.

In a study of psychopaths who had committed murder, manslaughter, multiple rape, strangulation and false imprisonment, the British scientists found that roads linking the two crucial brain areas had "potholes," while those of non-psychopaths were in good shape.

The study opens up the possibility of developing treatments for dangerous psychopaths in the future, said Dr Michael Craig of the Institute of Psychiatry at London’s King’s College Hospital, and may have profound implications for doctors, researchers and the criminal justice system…

"Essentially what we found is that the connections in the psychopaths were not as good as the connections in the non-psychopaths. I would describe them as roads between the two areas — and we found that in the psychopaths, the roads had potholes and weren’t very well maintained."

The scientists cautioned against suggestions the study could lead to screening of potential psychopathic criminals before they are able to commit crimes, saying their findings had not established how, when or why the brain links were damaged.

"The most exciting question now…is when do the potholes come — are people born with them, do they develop early in life, or are they a consequence of something else?"

The study used a new brain imaging technology to further analyze psychopaths’ brains after previous studies found that the amygdala part of the brain, which processes emotions, and orbitofrontal cortex, which handles impulses and decisions, are structurally and functionally different in psychopaths…

Full article here >>

 


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  1.  I often though my  amygdala was a little out of whack.  Are there any treatments?


  2. Nothing you’d survive, as far as I know.


  3.  Could be worse.