Emotional deficit in subjects with psychopathic tendencies as assessed by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2: an event-related potentials study.Neurosci Lett. 2005 Jan 03; 373(1):26-31.NL
On the basis of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), 20 male students were separated in low (LP) versus high (HP) subjects with psychopathic tendencies. Pictures from the Ekman and Friesen series were used in an event-related potentials study to investigate the neurophysiological correlates of the emotional deficit described in psychopathy. Subjects were confronted with a visual oddball design, in which they had to detect, as quickly as possible, deviant happy, sad or fearful faces amongst a train of standard stimuli (neutral faces). Behavioral results suggest that LP subjects are more efficient in the detection of emotional deviant faces. This emotional deficit was neurophysiologically indexed, in HP subjects, by a decreased N300 component, which is supposed to be particularly sensitive to affective features of stimuli rather than to physical characteristics. Moreover, independently of the nature of the deviant faces, the P3a component shows an earlier latency in the HP group as compared to the LP group, whereas the reversed pattern was shown for the P3b component. Implications of these results were discussed.