Friday, September 26, 2014

The Mind of a Violent Psychopath

First, violent psychopathology in youth is associated with structural and functional damage to the orbital cortex and strongly interconnected ventral prefrontal system structures such as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, ventral anterior cingulate, amygdala, and associated basal ganglia and cortico-subcortical loop circuits. 

Second, the timing of the injury or malfunctioning of this circuit determines the type of psychopathology manifested later in development, 

Orbitofrontal Cortex

Classic clinical evidence suggests that the orbitofrontal cortex is involved in critical human functions, such as social adjustment and the control of mood, drive and responsibility, traits that are crucial in defining the ‘personality’ of an individual.

 In recent years, diverse functional studies have identified activations in the orbitofrontal cortex, suggesting that this prefrontal field is a component of brain systems critically engaged in memory, reward and decision-making mechanisms. These functions may well be considered as basic components of higher emotional and social behavior presumably involving this part of the cortex. The mounting evidence that the orbitofrontal cortex holds many clues to the ways in which complex behaviors are regulated

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