Brain Factors Influential in Causing Psychopathy Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1411 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Psychology

According to Cale & Lilienfeld (2002), substance abuse affects the functioning of the amygdala, a fact considered contributing significantly to psychopathy. Therefore, Anderson et al., (2014) recommends lifestyle modification as among the strategies that should be adopted to prevent occurrences of psychopathy.

Apart from the above, Harmer et al., (2009) postulate that an excellent relationship exists between the brain developments of an individual with psychopathy. Research shows that individuals with a history of abnormalities in their central nervous system development are two at risk of developing psychopathy as compared to those with a history of normal development of the central nervous system. Among the abnormalities that have a high correlation with psychopathy include hyperactivity, learning disorders, and personality disorders.

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Moreover, Ogloff (2006) recognizes that protein deficiency in the brain increases the likelihood of psychopathy as evidenced by imaging studies of the brains of the affected individuals. Evidence has that deficiency of proteins in the brain increases the likelihood of a reduction in the concentration of DNA in the forebrain, thereby, psychopathy. Maternal behaviors during infancy also influence the predisposition of a child to psychopathy at their later stages of life. For example, children born to mothers who abuse alcohol shows a high risk of psychopathy. Abuse of alcohol causes fetal alcohol syndrome that contributes to structural and functional brain deficits, hence, psychopathy. Similarly, behaviors such as smoking during pregnancy increase the risks of violence and antisocial behaviors of the born child due to the involvement of the brain, hence, the disorder. Violence occurs due to a reduction in the oxygen levels in the fetal brain, a fact that causes structural and functional deficits of the brain, thereby, psychopathy (LaBrode, 2007).

Term Paper on Brain Factors Influential in Causing Psychopathy Assignment

Earlier studies conducted by Verona, Sprague, & Sadeh (2012) and Warren & South (2006) showed that the dysfunction of other brain parts other than the ones identified above causes psychopathy. Such areas include the uncinate fasciculus (UF) and the white matter that links the amygdala and the OFC cause psychopathy. The pathology of the above regions affects the fundamental functioning of the regions involved, thereby, the psychopathy. Early health factors such as birth complications also play a part in contributing to structural deficits of the brain that contribute to psychopathy. Birth complications cause cell death in the hippocampus that is highly linked to psychopathy and violence. Similarly, environmental factors have been shown to contribute to psychopathy. Such environmental factors include head injury that affects the normal functioning of the brain, a fact considered contributing to psychopathy. Head injury also causes imbalances in the neurotransmitter and component functioning, thereby, psychopathy (Anderson et al., 2014).


In summary, brain factors play a significant role in contributing to psychopathy. Aside from environmental and biological factors, brain factors such as brain injury, dysfunction of the amygdala and the OFC cause psychopathy. It is appreciable that preventive strategies should be adopted. Such strategies include minimizing the contributing factors such as lifestyle modification, injury prevention, early diagnosis, and management. Above all, health education plays a critical role in reducing incidences of psychopathy by creating public awareness and ensuring the adoption of socially friendly strategies that recognize the needs of the affected in the society.


Anderson, J.L., et al., (2014). Examining the Associations between Section III Antisocial Personality Disorder Traits and Psychopathy in Community and University Samples. Journal of Personality Disorders, 12(3), 1-23.

Cale, E.M., & Lilienfeld, S.O. (2002). Histrionic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder: Sex-Differentiated Manifestations of Psychopathy?. Journal of Personality Disorders, 16(1), 52-72.

Coid, J., & Ullrich, S. (2010). Antisocial Personality Disorder Is On A Continuum With Psychopathy. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 51(4), 426-433.

Harmer, C., Perrett, D., Cowen, P., & Goodwin, G. (2001). Administration of the beta-adrenoceptor blocker propranolol impairs the processing of facial expressions of sadness. Psychopharmacology, 154(4), 383-389.

LaBrode, R.T. (2007). Etiology of the Psychopathic Serial Killer: An Analysis of Antisocial Personality Disorder, Psychopathy, and Serial Killer Personality and Crime Scene Characteristics. Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention, 7(2), 151-160.

Ogloff, J.R. (2006). Psychopathy/antisocial Personality Disorder Conundrum. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 40(6-7), 519-528.

Verona, E., Sprague, J., & Sadeh, N. (2012). Inhibitory control and negative emotional processing in psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder.. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 12, 121-138.

Warren, J.I., & South,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Brain Factors Influential in Causing Psychopathy.  (2014, July 25).  Retrieved September 18, 2020, from

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"Brain Factors Influential in Causing Psychopathy."  July 25, 2014.  Accessed September 18, 2020.