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Applying a cognitive neuroscience perspective to the disorder of psychopathy

  • R. J. R. BLAIR (a1)

Four models of psychopathy (frontal lobe dysfunction, response set modulation, fear dysfunction, and violence inhibition mechanism hypotheses) are reviewed from the perspective of cognitive neuroscience. Each model is considered both with respect to the psychopathy data and, more importantly, for the present purposes, with respect to the broader cognitive neuroscience fields to which the model refers (e.g., models of attention with respect to the response set modulation account and models of emotion with respect to the fear dysfunction and violence inhibition mechanism models). The paper concludes with an articulation of the more recent integrated emotion systems model, an account inspired both by recent findings in affective cognitive neuroscience as well as in the study of psychopathy. Some directions for future work are considered.

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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: James Blair, Unit on Affective Cognitive Neuroscience, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, National Institute of Mental Health, 15K North Drive, Room 206, MSC 2670, Bethesda, MD 20892-2670; E-mail:
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