Dysfunctional neurocognition in individuals with clinically significant psychopathic traits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The main goal of this review is to consider the main forms of dysfunctional neurocognition seen in individuals with clinically significant psychopathic traits (ie, reduced guilt/empathy and increased impulsive/antisocial behavior). A secondary goal is to examine the extent to which these forms of dysfunction are seen in both adults with psychopathic traits and adolescents with clinically significant antisocial behavior that may also involve callous-unemotional traits (reduced guilt/empathy). The two main forms of neurocognition considered are emotional responding (to distress/pain cues and emotional stimuli more generally) and reward-related processing. Highly related forms of neurocognition, the response to drug cues and moral judgments, are also discussed. It is concluded that dysfunction in emotional responsiveness and moral judgments confers risk for aggression across adolescence and into adulthood. However, reduced reward-related processing, including to drug cues, is only consistently found in adolescents with clinically significant antisocial behavior, not adults with psychopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-299
Number of pages9
JournalDialogues in clinical neuroscience
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Emotional responding
  • Medial frontal cortex
  • Neurocognition
  • Psychopathic trait
  • Reward processing
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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