Scientific article

Cortex and amygdala morphology in psychopathy

Published inPsychiatry Research, vol. 193, no. 2, p. 85-92
Publication date2011

Psychopathy is characterized by abnormal emotional processes, but only recent neuroimaging studies have investigated its cerebral correlates. The study aim was to map local differences of cortical and amygdalar morphology. Cortical pattern matching and radial distance mapping techniques were used to analyze the magnetic resonance images of 26 violent male offenders (age: 32±8) with psychopathy diagnosed using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) and no schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and in matched controls (age: 35± sp="0.12"/>11). The cortex displayed up to 20% reduction in the orbitofrontal and midline structures (corrected p<0.001 bilaterally). Up to 30% tissue reduction in the basolateral nucleus, and 10-30% enlargement effects in the central and lateral nuclei indicated abnormal structure of the amygdala (corrected p=0.05 on the right; and symmetrical pattern on the left). Psychopathy features specific morphology of the main cerebral structures involved in cognitive and emotional processing, consistent with clinical and functional data, and with a hypothesis of an alternative evolutionary brain development.

  • Adult
  • Amphetamine/pharmacology
  • Amygdala/drug effects/pathology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder/pathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Cortex/drug effects/pathology
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Substance-Related Disorders/pathology
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
BOCCARDI, Marina et al. Cortex and amygdala morphology in psychopathy. In: Psychiatry Research, 2011, vol. 193, n° 2, p. 85–92. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2010.12.013
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0165-1781

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