Disturbed prefrontal and temporal brain function during emotion and cognition interaction in criminal psychopathy

Behav Sci Law. 2008;26(1):131-50. doi: 10.1002/bsl.796.

Abstract

Impaired emotional responsiveness has been revealed as a hallmark of psychopathy. In spite of an increasing database on emotion processing, studies on cognitive function and in particular on the impact of emotion on cognition in psychopathy are rare. We used pictures from the International Affective Picture Set (IAPS) and a Simon Paradigm to address emotion-cognition interaction while functional and structural imaging data were obtained in 12 healthy controls and 10 psychopaths. We found an impaired emotion-cognition interaction in psychopaths that correlated with a changed prefrontal and temporal brain activation. With regard to the temporal cortex, it is shown that structure and function of the right superior temporal gyrus is disturbed in psychopathy, supporting a neurobiological approach to psychopathy, in which structure and function of the right STG may be important.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnostic imaging
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / physiopathology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cognition*
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Emotions*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prefrontal Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Prefrontal Cortex / pathology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Radiography
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*