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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2006 Jul;12(4):538-48.

Forming, switching, and maintaining mental sets among psychopathic offenders during verbal and nonverbal tasks: another look at the left-hemisphere activation hypothesis.

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Department of Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0251, USA.


Three hypotheses for cognitive deficits among psychopaths were tested: executive dysfunction, left hemisphere activation, and an interaction between the two. Twenty-one psychopathic and 23 nonpsychopathic criminal offenders identified with the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised participated in verbal and visual-spatial tasks during which the level of executive processing demands was manipulated. Consistent with prior research, psychopathic offenders made more errors than controls, but only during the verbal task and only on trials with high executive demand. Within those trials, most errors occurred when set-maintenance demands were the highest. No response latency differences between groups were found.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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