Inside the Mind of a Psychopath 钻进变态的脑袋
出人意料的是，这些精神变态者脑中与情感和自我意识相关的岛叶皮质表现出了显著的活动。研究人员猜想，这种反应可能是因为罪犯们能够想象这些痛苦发生在了自己身上。在另一篇尚未发表的论文中，研究人员让囚犯刻意想象一些发生在他人身上的痛苦之事。这一次，精神变态者的反应就没有那么强烈了。这样看来，只要是自己的事儿，精神变态者似乎还是能够对痛苦有所反应的。（撰文/播音 克里斯蒂·尼科尔森（Christie Nicholson） 翻译：吴兰）
Inside the Mind of a Psychopath
The brains of psychopaths react differently to images of someone being hurt than the brains of non-psychopaths. Christie Nicholson reports
Psychopaths are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime. These people are primarily identified by an extreme lack of empathy. Now a study finds that when psychopaths see images of people in pain, there’s a pattern of activity in their brains that is quite different from brain activity in non-psychopaths.
Researchers tested 80 prisoners to gauge their levels of psychopathy. They then scanned the prisoners’ brains using functional MRI as the prisoners were shown photos of people being intentionally hurt.
Participants who scored high in psychopathy traits, versus those who were not considered psychopaths, showed much less activation in the areas of the brain involved in emotional reactions, social behavior and decision making. The study is published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
Unexpectedly, when viewing the photos the psychopaths experienced significant activity in the insular cortex, which is involved in emotion and self-awareness. The researchers conjecture that the reaction may have been due to the prisoners ability to imagine themselves in pain. In a still unpublished study with other inmates, subjects were specifically told to imagine the painful event happening to someone else. In that case, those scoring high in psychopathy had a lesser reaction. The psychopath thus seems able to relate to pain—as long as it’s his own.
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