The Psychopath. Emotion and the Brain

  • ID: 2248056
  • Book
  • 212 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Psychopathy is a disorder embedded in mystique, controversy and fantasy. Consistently portrayed in the media and popular culture as unusual, inhumane and emotionless creatures, individuals with psychopathy are the bogeymen of today s society, and the label psychopathy is used widely to describe a broad range of notorieties from political figures to serial killers.

This timely new book separates fact from fiction. It presents the scientific facts of psychopathy and antisocial behavior, addressing critical issues such as the definition of psychopathy, the number of psychopathic individuals in society, whether they can be treated, and whether psychopathy is down to nature or nurture.

More controversially, the authors present their ground–breaking research into whether an underlying abnormality in brain development, reducing emotional learning, is at the heart of the disorder. The resulting theory could lead to early diagnosis and revolutionize the way society, the media, and the state both view and contend with the psychopaths in our midst.

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List of Figures and Tables.


1. What is Psychopathy?.

2. The Background Facts.

3. What is the Ultimate Cause of Psychopathy?.

4. The Psychopathic Individual: The Functional Impairment.

5. Cognitive Accounts of Psychopathy.

6. Neural Accounts of Psychopathy.

7. A Neuro–Cognitive Account of Reactive Aggression.

8. A Neuro–Cognitive Account of Psychopathy.

9. Conundrums and Conclusions.


Subject Index.

Author Index.

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The psychopath always fascinates, and this new book rises to the challenge of its subject. The book exhaustively covers everything known about psychopathy to date. It also brings an exciting new theory, exploring the neuro–biological underpinnings of psychopaths broken emotions.The Psychopath will be an engrossing read for any clinician, scientist or student who wants to understand that mysterious individual, the criminal psychopath.Terrie Moffitt, Institute of Psychiatry,London

A gem of a contribution to the field of psychopathy, this wonderful resource provides a highly coherent and integrative review of developments in cognitive and affective neuroscience and their implications for understanding the nature of psychopathy. The authors are passionate about their research and this book presents their personal assessment of the field in a remarkably powerful, readable, and detailed manner. The book is an extraordinary accomplishment and a boon for the field. Joseph Newman, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin

This timely book represents an exciting new synthesis which has taken into account emerging data on the biology of psychopathy, including its neurocognitive basis. The authors lucidly describe discoveries about emotional processing in psychopaths and new thinking about its psychiatric nosology. They have performed a notable service in providing this highly readable survey, which summarises objectively the strengths and weaknesses of various theoretical accounts, including their own, and the implications for forensic, adult and child psychiatry. Trevor Robbins, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

A comprehensive summary of recent research on the cognitive, emotional, and neurological correlates to psychopathy. One of the few resources to consider the manifestations of psychopathy throughout the lifespan. Professor Paul J. Frick, Director, Applied Developmental Psychology Program, University of New Orleans

"the book as a whole contains a wealth of information and insight that make it an excellent avenue into the current state of knowledge and thinking about psychopathy. The authors′ scholarship is unquestionable, and they bring together an exceptional amount of information within a manageable number of pages...The book will provoke considerable thought from students, practitioners, and researchers who will have to integrate their thinking on this vital topic." David Nussbaum, PsycCRITIQUES

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