Theory of mind and psychopathy: Can psychopathic individuals read the 'language of the eyes'?

R. A. Richell, D. G.V. Mitchell, C. Newman, A. Leonard, S. Baron-Cohen, R. J.R. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

281 Scopus citations


There have been suggestions that Theory of Mind (ToM) impairment might lead to aggressive behaviour and psychopathy. Psychopathic and matched non-psychopathic individuals, as defined by the Hare Psychopathy Checklist [The Hare Psychopath Checklist-Revised, 1991] completed the 'Reading the Mind in the Eyes' ToM Test [Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 1997;38:813]. This test requires the self-paced identification of mental states from photographs of the eye region alone. Results indicated that the psychopathic individuals did not present with any generalised impairment in ToM. The data are discussed with reference to the putative neural system mediating performance on this task and models of psychopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-526
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Amygdala
  • Psychopathy
  • Theory of mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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