BOB HIRSHON (host):
Psychopathic brains. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
True psychopaths – such as manipulative, remorseless serial killers – have different brains from other violent offenders. This according to forensic psychologist Nigel Blackwood of King’s College, London. He and his colleagues studied British prisoners with anti-social personality disorder, some of whom were also clinically psychopathic. The psychopaths’ brains had less gray matter, a key type of nerve tissue, in areas linked to social and emotional awareness, shame, and morality.
NIGEL BLACKWOOD (King’s College, London):
So damage to these areas, may underpin the profound abnormalities in things like empathy, or guilt, that the psychopathic offenders experience.
Blackwood notes the non-psychopathic prisoners had committed similar crimes, but were generally hot-headed and impulsive rather than cold and calculating. And in the aforementioned areas, their brains they were like those of non-offenders from the general population. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.\