The Amygdala and Psychopathy

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After reading some of the articles that were posted and learning that since the amygdala controls many emotional responses, what would happen if there was some sort of damage to it?
The first thing that came to mind was psychopathy, which is a mental disorder is which the person has a lack of empathy and remorse, and more generally a lack of emotional depth. So, I decided to do some research and found some interesting articles on the topics and came across this one:

The article confirmed my belief that the amygdala is the reason behind the emotional disabilities found in psychopathic patients. However the reason why this dysfunction in the amygdala occurs is still unknown. I also learned that psychopaths were found to have an amygdala that was smaller in volume compared to others, which would make sense.

So my next question is how have people been utilizing this knowledge? I would think that this information would be very useful in things like murder cases. If someone was convicted of a murder and showed almost no remorse for their actions, does that make them a psychopath?

For example, the infamous case of Casey Anthony, a Florida mother who was accused of murdering her 3-year-old daughter and was on trial this past summer. I followed the case for a good deal of the summer and for most of the trial she seemed unaffected. She was seen out partying and having a good time with her friends multiple times. How could a mother be on trial for the murder of her child and not be a compete mess every single day? Many different news reporters who were following the case suggested that maybe she was a psychopath and that seemed to be a sensible explanation. If so, did Casey Anthony ever undergo tests to see if she was psychopathic? Would this have affected the outcome of the trial in which she was found to be innocent? Could this have affected other similar trials in the past?


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This page contains a single entry by mehlh017 published on October 2, 2011 2:11 PM.

Amygdala: Friend or Foe? was the previous entry in this blog.

Playing with the Amygdala is the next entry in this blog.

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