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  • Gee, what a surprise!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6198704.stm

    Psychopaths' brains 'different'

    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/image...age_new203.jpg The scans showed brain activity

    There are biological brain differences that mark out psychopaths from other people, according to scientists.
    Psychopaths showed less activity in brain areas involved in assessing the emotion of facial expressions, the British Journal of Psychiatry reports.
    In particular, they were far less responsive to fearful faces than healthy volunteers.
    The Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London team say this might partly explain psychopathic behaviour.
    Remorseless
    Criminal psychopaths are people with aggressive and anti-social personalities who lack emotional empathy.
    They can commit hideous crimes, such as rape or murder, yet show no signs of remorse or guilt.
    It has been suggested that people with psychopathic disorders lack empathy because they have defects in processing facial and vocal expressions of distress, such as fear and sadness, in others.
    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/...t_quote_rb.gif We are a long way from knowing how to treat psychopathy http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/...d_quote_rb.gif


    Dr Nicola Gray, from Cardiff University's School of Psychology


    Professor Declan Murphy and colleagues set out to test this using a scan that shows up brain activity.
    They showed six psychopaths and nine healthy volunteers pictures of faces showing different emotions.
    Both groups had increased activity in brain areas involved in processing facial expressions in response to happy faces compared with neutral faces, but this increase was smaller among the psychopaths.
    By contrast, when processing fearful faces compared with neutral faces, the healthy volunteers showed increased activation and the psychopaths decreased activation in these brain regions.
    Fearful faces
    The researchers said: "These results suggest that the neural pathways for processing facial expressions of happiness are functionally intact in people with psychopathic disorder, although less responsive.
    "In contrast, fear is processed in a very different way."
    This failure to recognise and emotionally respond to facial and other signals of distress may underlie psychopaths' failure to block behaviour that causes distress in others and their lack of emotional empathy, the scientists suggest.
    Dr Nicola Gray, from Cardiff University's School of Psychology, has also been studying what underpins psychopathy.
    "What we are trying to understand are the cognitive deficits underpinning the behaviour of psychopaths.
    "If people with psychopathy can't process the emotion of fear and that is mirrored in terms of their brain activity, as this study suggests, that will help us understand the cognitive deficits.
    "But it is still a long way to finding out what to do about that. We are a long way from knowing how to treat psychopathy."












    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif

  • #2
    Surprise, indeed. I have always suspected that psychopaths' brains are wired to receive positive input from others' pleasure or pain, like a drug high. You torture the kitten, you feel good. Moving up to your fellow humans increases the high. The worse the horror, the bigger/longer/more intense the emotional high. It's my way of understanding why the bad guys escalate their violence, etc.

    I don't think it's necessarily tied into a sexual response, though that can be a component. Where I enjoy a fine glass of single malt and derive pleasure from it, others might find murder, etc. as equally satisfying. We all skirt the line between light and dark. A few of us cross with it with a vengeance. What makes them willing to take that journey? In truth, we'd like to think the line is very thin. It's not.

    TimeRover

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TimeRover
      Surprise, indeed. I have always suspected that psychopaths' brains are wired to receive positive input from others' pleasure or pain, like a drug high. You torture the kitten, you feel good. Moving up to your fellow humans increases the high. The worse the horror, the bigger/longer/more intense the emotional high. It's my way of understanding why the bad guys escalate their violence, etc.

      I don't think it's necessarily tied into a sexual response, though that can be a component. Where I enjoy a fine glass of single malt and derive pleasure from it, others might find murder, etc. as equally satisfying. We all skirt the line between light and dark. A few of us cross with it with a vengeance. What makes them willing to take that journey? In truth, we'd like to think the line is very thin. It's not.

      TimeRover
      Hi, I am new here, but what the heck I can post anyway? It's interesting, cause I feel that we are incredibly unlike each other, all human beings. If I was to move into your brain and vice versa, one of us should scream of horror, and the other one say "My God, no wonder that you are happy! If I felt like this I would be too!"

      My reasons for thinking that is that 26 years ago I was an extremely happy human being. I loved life, the days shimmered with excitement, I woke up with a song in my heart each morning. Classical music sent me into extacies. Well, one morning I woke up, not understanding my Mozart records anymore, only rock and pop music. My spectacular memory was gone (as was my spectacular ability to see in the dark), and life was boring.

      Not that I am depressed really, I can fall in love, and laugh and such things. But I would tear off my right arm if I could get back into the former situation. I am much more like my friends and the other folks in my family nowadays, it was probably the former state of mind that was abnormal! I used to wonder why they complained when life was such a wonderful adventure; now I know!

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome to the site!

        Interesting situation. A definite alteration, though not necessarily of behavior, more that of perception. Chemical inbalance in the brain? Some external stimulus? Hummm.... Got me puzzling on that one.

        TimeRover

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        • #5
          The defect that causes psychopathy isn't enough to make a serial killer, thank the gods. It's estimated that there are more psychopaths than schizophrenics in the general population.

          There's also the interesting idea that psychopaths, who are a high percentage of the people in risk taking type jobs, need to constantly up the ante in order to feel anything at all.

          Comment


          • #6
            Mags:

            Would we call people who risk contracting AIDS ( by sexual contact without propopla..prolificalat...condoms ) psychopaths?

            Would we call people who shoot up skag...a little more each time...because the high ain't what it used to be...psychopaths?

            How about people who take dares...and jump off bridges into a lake or river?

            This classification of what a psychopath is,is confusing Mags. I take risks at work ( by not using guides on my machine,since they slow me down...and therefore cutting into my reading time at work...)...and smoke ( 40 years ). Would these...and I'm being serious...be considered traits of a psychopath?

            Thanks

            Nuts in NW Philly
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            • #7
              Nope, I don't think you're in that ballpark.

              Here's a for instance:

              My former boss was a psychopath. Long story so take my word for it. He took all kinds of risks that were big by the standards of his everyday life, involving physical danger like chasing gang members down the street with a baseball bat and emotional danger like getting involved with a looney female employee while his equally looney young wife was pregnant. In his realm these were big risks. Perhaps he needed the stimulation of living on the edge to be able to feel.

              I'm not saying that all risk takers are psychopaths but that many psychopaths are risk takers.

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              • #8
                Whew !!

                Thanks Mags....finally a woman what understands me.

                Seriously, I see what you mean and agree that certain behavior if maintained could indicate a psychopath.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TimeRover
                  Welcome to the site!

                  Interesting situation. A definite alteration, though not necessarily of behavior, more that of perception. Chemical inbalance in the brain? Some external stimulus? Hummm.... Got me puzzling on that one.

                  TimeRover
                  Something triggered off some chemical revolution in the brain, yes. That's what I am convinced of. (During the 26 years the former extatic mood returned twice for 40 respectively 9 hours, both times after something "popped" in my head, the first time almost scaring the **** out of me.)

                  But my point is that except myself (who considered it earthshattering) nobody noticed anything apart from my playing poprecords instead of classical ones, and perhaps speaking less excitedly. And though this has been a revolution to me, I expect that it's nothing compared to the real differences btwn people. If an attractive girl flirts with me, I smile, my heart starts beating and so on. The likes of Jack want to rip or **** the bitch to pieces, feeling anything but love - I don't think they know what love feels like.

                  I don't think that we can understand other people, really. The old me certainly wouldn't have understood the new me, nor vice versa.

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