Navigation Links
Playing Games in Prison May Reveal Roots of Psychopathy
Date:6/3/2010

The way psychopathic prisoners play certain games bears an uncanny resemblance to the patterns shown by people with damage to a particular part of the brain, according to an intriguing set of experiments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Madison, Wis. (Vocus) June 2, 2010 -- The way psychopathic prisoners play certain games bears an uncanny resemblance to the patterns shown by people with damage to a particular part of the brain, according to an intriguing set of experiments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The experiments, published in the June issue of Neuropsychologia, show that psychopaths’ decisions mirror those of patients with known damage to their ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC,) the part of the brain responsible for sentiments such as empathy and guilt.

Perhaps not surprisingly, psychopaths in prison play economic decision-making games with a distinct style.

“They’re quick to anger, and they don’t regret their bad treatment of others,” says Michael Koenigs, assistant professor of psychiatry in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

“There are interesting parallels between psychopaths and our ventromedial prefrontal cortex patients,” says Koenigs. “This is an important hint that the vmPFC may be involved in the development of psychopathy.”

In their experiment, UW-Madison psychology Professor Joseph Newman and Koenigs had 47 inmates in a Wisconsin prison play two economic decision-making games. The prisoners played for the chance to win money they could exchange for items such as shampoo and food from the prison store.

First, participants played the “Ultimatum Game,” in which two players got to split an amount of money (for example, $10) if they could agree on how to split it. But if the “responder” rejects the offer, both players got nothing. A rational responder would accept any amount of money, Koenigs explained, because the alternative means getting nothing. That is how most of the prisoners played the game.

But people who had been diagnosed with primary psychopathy “reacted with anger to what they regarded as unfairly low offers.” They were much more likely to reject these offers, leading to both players losing everything.

Next, prisoners played the “Dictator Game.” In this game, the first player decided the split, and the responder had no choice in the matter. Thus, offers made in this game were seen as being determined by the players’ “pro-social emotions,” such as empathy and guilt. Again, the primary psychopaths made abnormally low offers compared with prisoners who were not psychopathic.

In both games, the reactions of the psychopaths closely mirror the responses of patients with damage to the vmPFC.

“While we have done this study before with vmPFC patients, it had never been done before with psychopaths,” Koenigs says.

Interestingly, the economic decision-making game also pointed out a sharp difference between primary psychopaths – who have an innate dysfunction with their ability to feel the pain of others – and secondary psychopaths, whose dysfunction seems to be rooted in abusive childhoods, drug use or other social factors.

“Primary psychopaths are just not wired to feel guilt and shame,” Koenigs says. “Primary psychopathy allows you to do horrible or thoughtless things to others to achieve your goals.”

The study bolsters the notion that primary psychopaths have some type of dysfunction in their vmPFCs.

“Ultimately, we would like to do brain imaging of people with psychopathy, but that may be difficult to achieve in a prison setting,” Koenigs says.

CONTACT: Susan Lampert Smith
(608) 262-7335

###

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/UW-Madison/psychopathic-prisoners/prweb4084984.htm.


'/>"/>
Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2010 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. For the Knee, Shoes and Playing Surface Matter
2. Black Activists Condemn Senate Leader Harry Reid Playing the Race Card in Health Care Debate
3. Playing favorites: Parents still involved after children are grown
4. Pelosi on Repealing Antitrust Exemption: Health Insurance Companies Will Now Be Playing on the Peoples Field
5. More Lower Extremity, Orthopaedic-Related Injuries Occur When Playing on FieldTurf
6. Study: Social influence playing role in surging autism diagnoses
7. Playing a video game before bedtime has only a mild effect on adolescent sleep
8. SIRIUS XM to Broadcast Doctor Radio Reports: Kids and Video Games - What You Should Know Before You Buy
9. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Volunteer to Carry Torch for Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games
10. Exergen TemporalScanner Sponsors Game Time Temperature for NFL and College Bowl Games
11. Video Games Could Boost Certain Thinking Skills
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Playing Games in Prison May Reveal Roots of Psychopathy
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... ... (INS) states that vein visualization technology should be used to ensure patient safety ... the world, the INS Standards mandate the use of vein visualization technology in ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... , ... February 13, 2016 , ... When an Au Pair comes all ... sure what they are in for and they are often worried things won’t go well. ... were hoping for. This year’s Au Pair of the Year winner’s all commented how their ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... February 13, 2016 , ... DDi , a ... Providers list for its expertise in eClinical Solutions. DDi has built its solution ... technology needs of global clients. DDi provides smarter technology for Clinical Development, Regulatory ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Mystic Buddha Publishing House presents Valentine’s Day tips ... biography of Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz. , According to Publisher Roger ... Buddhist teacher for teaching and helping others. Valentine’s Day celebrates love in all ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Seattle, WA, and Washington, DC (PRWEB) , ... ... ... PATH and the Siemens Foundation today announced a new initiative—the Siemens ... technologies for low-resource settings. The partnership will recruit top students from U.S. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)...  This month,s issue of the Journal of ... in-depth look at various causes and consequences associated with rising health ... which has generated significant public outrage and calls for ... E. Happe , PharmD, MPH. --> JMCP ... --> In 2014 prescription drug spending in ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO ) is pleased to announce the promotion of Paul ... Jan. 23, 2016. To learn more about ... ... ... In his ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Demers Ambulances announces its first delivery in ... Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) consisting ... one LT2 van. Quality Emergency Vehicles in Lecanto, ... the sale.  This is the latest in Demers, ongoing expansion ... President at Demers. --> Benoit LaFortune , Executive ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: