Justin Reber, University of Iowa

Assessing Psychopathic Traits in Individuals with Focal Brain Lesions
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 11:30am

ABSTRACT: Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) can lead to personality changes as well as behaviors that are impulsive, inconsiderate, and irresponsible. Many psychologists have likened the conduct of individuals with vmPFC lesions to that of psychopaths, labeling the effects of vmPFC damage “pseudopsychopathy” or “acquired sociopathy.” However, although psychopathy—a condition marked by a distinct mosaic of antisocial personality traits and behaviors—has been studied and characterized as a psychological and behavioral disorder by many researchers, the overlap between acquired sociopathy and psychopathy remains ambiguous. This talk will cover preliminary results from ongoing research assessing the relative severity of psychopathic personality traits in neurological patients with focal damage to various regions of the brain including the vmPFC.