Small Study Reveals Why “Psychopaths” Lack Empathy For Others’ Pain.

HealthDay (9/26, Preidt) reports that a brain scan study published Sept. 24 in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience reveals why “psychopaths feel a lack of empathy when other people are in pain.” For the study, investigators “used functional MRI to observe brain activity in 121 inmates at a medium-security prison in the United States who were divided into three groups based on the levels of their psychopathy.” The inmates were shown pictures depicting physical pain and were then asked to imagine the pain happening to themselves and then to others. Scans revealed that inmates with a high level of psychopathy displayed little activity in brain regions associated with empathy for pain in others and above average activity for pain in themselves. What’s more, “when imagining other people in pain, highly psychopathic inmates showed increased activity in a brain area known to be involved in pleasure.”

Related Links:

— “Brain Scans Show Why Psychopaths Don’t Feel Your Pain, “Robert Preidt, HealthDay, September 25, 2013.

Posted in In The News.