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Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2008 Sep;31(3):463-75, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2008.03.004.

The neurobiology of psychopathy.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, 3809 Walnut Street, PA 19104, USA.


Numerous studies have tackled the complex challenge of understanding the neural substrates of psychopathy, revealing that brain abnormalities exist on several levels and in several structures. As we discover more about complex neural networks, it becomes increasingly difficult to clarify how these systems interact with each other to produce the distinct pattern of behavioral and personality characteristics observed in psychopathy. The authors review the recent research on the neurobiology of psychopathy, beginning with molecular neuroscience work and progressing to the level of brain structures and their connectivity. Potential factors that may affect the development of brain impairments, as well as how some systems may be targeted for potential treatment, are discussed.

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