Brain abnormality discovered that may explain why people are psychopaths

Psychopathy is a widely studied mental disorder due to its dangerous and life-threatening nature. But despite the extensive research on the subject, the exact causes of this disorder have remained a mystery for a long time. A new study could, however, lift the veil on this mystery.

An Important Biological Difference Between Psychopaths and Normal People

The term “psychopath” is used to describe a person who is callous, emotionless, and morally depraved. Although the term is not an official mental health diagnosis, it is often used in clinical and legal contexts. Given the potentially dangerous and deadly nature of psychopathy, this mental disorder has been the subject of much research. The latest study on the subject has uncovered a brain abnormality that may explain why some people are psychopaths.

Indeed, neuroscientists from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the University of Pennsylvania and California State University have discovered a biological distinction between psychopaths and non-psychopaths. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), scientists found that the striatum was 10% larger in psychopathic people compared to people with little or no psychopathic traits.

Note that the striatum is an area of ​​the forebrain that contains the entire brain and helps coordinate cognition, motor planning, decision-making, motivation and the perception of rewards. In addition to MRIs, interviews were also conducted with study participants, and researchers were able to establish a connection between having a larger striatum and an increased need for stimulation through thrills and excitement, as well as a higher likelihood of impulsive behaviors.

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A new perspective on how to approach psychopathy

According to the scientists, the results of this study published in the journal Journal of Psychiatric Research are very important because, since biological traits like striatal size are often genetic in origin, it brings new insight into policies and treatment options for psychopathy. In other words, these perspectives will have to go beyond the environmental and social influences that have hitherto been considered to explain psychopathy.

Because biological traits, such as the size of one’s striatum, can be inherited from parent to child, these findings provide further support for neurodevelopmental perspectives of psychopathy; that the brains of these offenders do not develop normally throughout childhood and adolescence “, explained the professor Adrian Raineco-author of the study, in a statement. If the results of this study provide strong evidence for a link between the striatum and psychopathy, researchers want to conduct further studies, particularly to uncover the causes of striatum enlargement in psychopaths.

Brain abnormality discovered that may explain why people are psychopaths