In a new fMRI study, a Canada/Japan collab of researchers sought to tease out the neural mechanisms “underlying differences in frustration-induced aggression as a function of psychopathy in non-criminal populations.”
Individuals with psychopathy have an increased tendency toward certain types of aggression. We hypothesized that successful psychopaths, who have no criminal convictions but can be diagnosed with psychopathy in terms of personality characteristics, are skilled at regulating aggressive impulses, compared to incarcerated unsuccessful psychopaths.
The findings indicate that amygdala dysfunction underlies affective deficits of psychopathy. We propose that the insensitivity of the amygdala to the affective significance of social stimuli contributes to an increased risk of violation of social norms, but enhances the ability to attenuate impulses toward maladaptive aggression in successful psychopaths.
Insensitivity & inhibition.