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:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... MEDI+SIGN®, a provider ... that a new solution for Emergency Departments (ED) has been added to their ... Emergency Department examination rooms, and with a simplified pallet of information available to ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... with distinction by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), the leading authority ... care and patient safety. Only a few hospitals and facilities have earned this ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Seavest ... Property owned by an affiliate of Seavest, has won a prestigious national healthcare ... Chester County ambulatory care center (ACC) was named “Best New Development, MOBs and ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... David J. Dykeman , ... Greenberg Traurig, LLP, will speak at DeviceTalks West, Dec. 12, 2016, at the Fairmont ... and attorneys from the firm’s global Life Sciences & Medical Technology Group have been ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, the leading global provider ... products, today announced that it had joined the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI). ... unite pharmaceutical and healthcare companies that share a vision of better, social, environmental ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 KEY FINDINGS ... the largest share of the market in 2016 and ... dominance can be attributed to a large number of ... (US hold the largest share in the patient temperature ... benefits such as reducing loss of blood during surgeries, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Trends - Adhesion Type, Application, Usability - Forecast to 2025" ... , ... Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 3.2% ... market is witnessing include advancements in extracellular microelectrode arrays and intracellular ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Quebec , Dec. 8, 2016  Valeant ... and TSX: VRX) ("Valeant") today announced positive results ... clinical study to assess the safety and efficacy ... the treatment of plaque psoriasis. ... subjects with moderate to severe psoriasis, IDP-118 showed ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: