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Question: What are the differences in neural response of incarcerated men with and without psychopathy when viewing images of other people being hurt or expressing pain?
People: Eighty incarcerated men (age 18–50 years), 27 with high psychopathy (cases) and 53 with intermediate or low psychopathy (controls), matched to cases on the basis of age, ethnicity, IQ, comorbid DSM -IV Axis II disorders and past drug use and dependence.
Setting: Medium security prison in North America.
Risk factors: Psychopathy as assessed using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). Men with a score of at least 30 were categorised as having high psychopathy (n=27); scores 21–29 as intermediate psychopathy (n=28); and scores of 20 or less as low psychopathy (n=25).
Outcomes: Neurohaemodynamic response as measured by functional MRI (fMRI) while viewing two task conditions. The pain interactions task involved 48 visual scenarios depicting a person intentionally harming another person, in which faces were not shown, interspersed with 48 control …
Sources of funding US National Institutes of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Competing interests None.