Psychopath-ish: How “healthy” brains can look and function like those of psychopaths

A recent study used fMRI to compare the brains of psychopathic criminals with a group of 100 well-functioning individuals, finding striking similarities.

  • The study used psychological inventories to assess a group of violent criminals and healthy volunteers for psychopathy, and then examined how their brains responded to watching violent movie scenes.
  • The fMRI results showed that the brains of healthy subjects who scored high in psychopathic traits reacted similarly as the psychopathic criminal group. Both of these groups also showed atrophy in brain regions involved in regulating emotion.
  • The study adds complexity to common conceptions of what differentiates a psychopath from a "healthy" individual.
Keep reading Show less

The cost of world peace? It's much less than the price of war

The world's 10 most affected countries are spending up to 59% of their GDP on the effects of violence.

Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • Conflict and violence cost the world more than $14 trillion a year.
  • That's the equivalent of $5 a day for every person on the planet.
  • Research shows that peace brings prosperity, lower inflation and more jobs.
  • Just a 2% reduction in conflict would free up as much money as the global aid budget.
  • Report urges governments to improve peacefulness, especially amid COVID-19.
Keep reading Show less

An 'indiscriminate' massacre: Study examines why 41 people were killed 6,200 years ago

"Large-scale indiscriminate killing is a horror that is not just a feature of the modern and historic periods, but was also a significant process in pre-state societies," the researchers wrote.

Credit: Novak et al.
  • In 2007, a mass grave containing the ancient remains of 41 men, women, and children was discovered in Croatia.
  • Initially, some researchers proposed the victims might have been killed due to xenophobia.
  • However, a new genetic analysis suggests that the victims weren't newcomers to the area, leading researchers to note that climatic changes might have played a role in the killings.
Keep reading Show less
Photo by AJ Colores on Unsplash
Why do some people fight and others flee when confronting violence?
Keep reading Show less

New research shows that bullies are often friends

Remedies must honor the complex social dynamics of adolescence.

Photo: rawpixel / Adobe Stock
  • Bullies are likely to be friends according to new research published in the American Journal of Sociology.
  • The researchers write that complex social dynamics among adolescents allow the conditions for intragroup dominance.
  • The team uses the concept of "frenemies" to describe the relationship between many bullies and victims.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast