This study investigates the ability of psychopathic individuals to process facial emotional expressions. Psychopathic and comparison individuals, as defined by the Hare Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R), were presented with a standardized set of facial expressions depicting six emotions: happy, surprised, disgusted, angry, sad and fearful. Participants observed as these facial expressions slowly evolved through 20 successive frames of increasing intensity. The dependent variables were latency in responding as measured by frame and number of errors. The psychopathic individuals showed selective impairment for the recognition of fearful expressions. The results are interpreted with reference to the Violence Inhibition Mechanism model of psychopathy and the suggestion that psychopathic individuals present with amygdala dysfunction.
- Facial expressions
- Orbital frontal cortex
- Violence inhibition mechanism
ASJC Scopus subject areas