Psychos may all have an abnormality in the brain

Psychos, Declan Murphy, professor at the Institute of Psychiatry of King’s College London, believes, have an abnormality in a part of the brain called uncinate fasciculus (UF). The UF connects the orbitofrontal cortex (involved in decision making) and the amygdala (involved with emotions) and a dysfunction in that connection may be what causes the pathological immorality of psychopaths. The Examiner:

Using a precise form of MRI, Murphy studied the brains of those labeled as psychopaths who had been convicted of crimes ranging from manslaughter to repeated rapes. The imaging found “a significant reduction in the integrity of the small particles that make up the structure of the UF of psychopaths, compared to control groups of people with the same age and IQ. Also, the degree of abnormality was significantly related to the degree of psychopathy.” [EurekAlert]

This is the first clear evidence of the biological basis of psychopathy, and if the results can be further verified by larger studies, the findings will have profound effects not just on the neurological studies, but also on criminal justice systems: brain scanning to reveal psycho killers, anyone?


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