Psychopaths have Bigger Striatum area in Brain

In summary, the striatum plays a significant role in coordinating various aspects of cognition in the brain, including motor and action planning, decision-making, motivation, reinforcement, and reward perception. Recent research has found that psychopathic individuals have a 10% larger striatum compared to non-psychopathic individuals, providing a clear biological difference between the two groups. However, the concept of psychopathy is still a controversial and complex topic in neuroscience, with many researchers questioning the validity and usefulness of this label.
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Tom.G
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The striatum... coordinates numerous elements of cognition, including motor and action planning, decision-making, motivation, reinforcement, and reward perception.
Psychopaths, or those with psychopathic qualities, are people who have an egotistical and antisocial disposition. This is often characterized by a lack of guilt for their actions, a lack of empathy for others, and, in some cases, criminal tendencies.
...psychopathic people have a 10% larger striatum, a cluster of neurons in the subcortical basal ganglia of the forebrain, than regular people. This represents a clear biological distinction between psychopaths and non-psychopathic people.

Popular article:
https://scitechdaily.com/scientists...erence-between-psychopaths-and-normal-people/

Research article (paywall):
https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.03.006

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Tom
 
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I have to say, whenever I see things like this, specifically related to psychopathy, it brings into focus why such a large amount of published work in neuroscience is labelled as neurotrash. Its obviously true that there is a small group of people, whose behaviour is so extreme and damaging, that they attract a great deal of public attention. This means that exploiting the known links between brain and behaviour, provides an attractive explanation, that this is caused by a biological abnormality, it makes such behaviours understandable and reduces anxiety.

Unfortunately, such explanations are really just simplistic fictions, the good research that is available finds little consistency in findings in the results from the whole range of areas of study. These findings, not being helped by the lack of clear definitions, poor measurement tools and in some cases the motives of researchers.

Despite the influence this idea has, it is worth recognising that psychopathy is not formally recognised as a mental health disorder, its primary function is in the labelling of criminal behaviour and in the justification of sentencing.

The two links discuss the problems of making sense of the research, it in many ways reinforces the view that we can only understand people by taking apart the complex web of associations that lead to particular outcomes, simple cause - effect associations are not as common as we like to think.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7219694/
https://www.apa.org/monitor/2022/03/ce-corner-psychopathy
 
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Related to Psychopaths have Bigger Striatum area in Brain

What is the striatum area in the brain?

The striatum is a region in the brain that is involved in reward, motivation, and decision-making. It is made up of several structures, including the caudate nucleus, putamen, and nucleus accumbens.

How does the size of the striatum differ in psychopaths?

Studies have found that psychopaths have a larger striatum area compared to non-psychopaths. This suggests that there may be structural differences in the brains of individuals with psychopathy.

What does a larger striatum area indicate in psychopaths?

A larger striatum area in psychopaths may suggest that they have a heightened sensitivity to rewards and may be more motivated by them. This could contribute to their impulsive and antisocial behaviors.

Is the size of the striatum area the only factor in psychopathy?

No, the size of the striatum area is just one aspect that has been studied in relation to psychopathy. Other factors, such as genetics and environmental influences, also play a role in the development of psychopathy.

Can the size of the striatum area be used to diagnose psychopathy?

No, the size of the striatum area cannot be used as a diagnostic tool for psychopathy. It is just one potential marker that has been studied, and a diagnosis of psychopathy requires a comprehensive evaluation by a trained professional.

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