Editor’s note: Third in a series of three articles appearing in other publications on what scientists are learning about the brain and behavior through MRI imaging.
A new study finds that psychopaths have abnormalities in the parts of their brains related to learning from punishment.
MRI studies were conducted on violent offenders — 12 with psychopathy and 20 with antisocial personality disorder but not psychopathy — along with 18 healthy non-offenders. Those with psychopathy showed differences in the brain regions associated with empathy, processing of pro-social emotions such as guilt and embarrassment, and moral reasoning.
The research showed that the psychopathic offenders failed to learn from punishment cues.
Psychopathic violent offenders’ brains can’t understand punishment, on ScienceDaily.com.