UA-63899747-1 The Psychopathic Brain: Family of Four Slain in Washington DC – Nzinga Harrison, MD
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Approximately two weeks ago, three members of the Savopoulos family and their housekeeper were brutally murdered at their Washington D.C. mansion.  As described in the news, the scene was gruesome and included torture, bludgeoning, stabbing and ultimately arson.  I recently spoke with KMZU about the psychology and biology behind psychopathic behavior such as that displayed during the murders.

Psychopathic Brain

Summary Points

  • Research shows that the brains of individuals with psychopathy demonstrate altered functioning in the parts of the brain responsible for impulse control, empathy, fear conditioning, moral decision-making and recognition of facial expressions of emotion.
  • Due to decreased levels of fear and lower levels of negative emotion and empathy, individuals with psychopathy can carry-out gruesome behaviors that others would not normally be able to tolerate.
  • Although there is a difference in brain functioning, individuals with psychopathy are still responsible for their actions
  • While there are no medical treatments for psychopathy specifically, managing depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, impulse control and irritability may be able to decrease dangerous behaviors associated with psychopathy.

You can listen to the complete interview by clicking here.

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