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A brain imaging (single photon emission computerized tomography) study of semantic and affective processing in psychopaths

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      Psychopaths have been described as human predators who use charm, intimidation, and violence to control others and to satisfy their own needs. Underlying their propensity to violate social norms and expectations is a profound lack of empathy, guilt, or remorse, affective processes that have long resisted scientific investigation. Using brain imaging technology we found that psychopaths differed from nonpsychopaths in the pattern of relative cerebral blood flow during processing of emotional words. The results were consistent with the hypothesis that there are anomalies in the way psychopaths process semantic and affective information.

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