HAIFA, Israel, April 28 (UPI) — The mental impairments in psychopaths appear similar to those seen in patients with frontal lobe damage, researchers in Israel suggest.
Dr. Simone Shamay-Tsoory of the University of Haifa in Israel and colleagues at The Shalvata Mental Health Care Center and the Rambam Medical Center say psychopaths are characterized by callousness, diminished capacity for remorse and a lack of empathy.
The researchers said the theory of mind — a theory because the mind is not directly observable — of psychopaths is that there is a cognitive part that requires inferences about knowledge and beliefs, and another part that requires the understanding of emotions.
To test the hypothesis the researchers examined the abilities of criminal offenders diagnosed with an anti-social personality disorder with highly psychopathic tendencies, patients with damage to the frontal lobes of the brain, patients with damage to other parts of the brain and healthy controls.
The study, scheduled to the published in the May issue of the journal Cortex, found psychopathic participants showed a remarkable resemblance to those with the frontal lobe damage.
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