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Inside The Mind Of A Psychopath

Posted 3/15/2010 10:00 am by

psychopath-brain-scan8.jpgHave you ever wondered just why every psychopathic serial killer that gets interviewed talks about the compulsion to kill?  That they felt compelled to slay others, to undertake their vicious crimes, regardless of the consequences?  Well, according to researchers from Vanderbilt University, their brain made them do it.  Specifically their dopamine reward system, which causes them to single-mindedly pursue goals despite the consequences.  Once they have their mind set to do something, they get it done, no matter who or what is after them.”Psychopaths are often thought of as cold-blooded criminals who take what they want without thinking about consequences,”  said lead researcher Joshua Buckholtz.  “We found that a hyper-reactive dopamine reward system may be the foundation for some of the most problematic behaviors associated with psychopathy, such as violent crime, recidivism and substance abuse.”

The goal, as always, is to figure out a way to predict who just might turn out to be a psychopath via brain scan images.  This research used the PET and fMRI scans.  While the brain scan isn’t evidence of a proclivity to become a killer, it might help pick them out of a line-up at court.

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