12 Psychopathy: the cognitive profile Before continuing it is worth noting that the term “cognitive” is being used to refer to all relevant computations conducted by the brain. Sometimes the term “affective” is used with respect to emotional processes.13 However, for the purposes of this paper, affective processing will be considered as simply
Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical another form of cognitive processing. With respect to cognitive dysfunction in psychopathy, the disorder is particularly interesting given the selectivity in the impairments seen. Thus, for example, executive functioning,14 Theory of Mind,15 and episodic memory (as long as it does not rely on augmentation by emotional content16) are intact in individuals with this disorder. Indeed, the two main classes of model of psychopathy concentrate on only two forms of dysfunction: attentional17 and emotional processing.18,19 Psychopathy as a disorder of attention: Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical the response set modulation hypothesis According to the response modulation
hypothesis, the difficulty faced by individuals with psychopathy relates to a problem in reallocating Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical attention to secondary information when engaged in goal-directed behavior.17,20 This difficulty in balancing the demands of goal-directed Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical processing and secondary information processing creates a bias whereby psychopathic individuals are less selleck chemicals responsive to affective information unless it is a central
aspect of their goal-directed focus of attention. It is argued that “psychopathic individuals initially perceive and identify both primary and secondary information, but are particularly adept at using higher-order Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical processes to resolve the competition between goal-relevant and secondary demands on attention” (p 227).4 The authors argue that these higher-order processes create an “early attention bottleneck” that limits the processing of secondary information. Typically, an early attention bottleneck has implied that only physical and not abstract properties of a secondary stimulus are processed; the bottleneck occurs within the visual stream, with “early” processing corresponding to physical feature as opposed to abstract feature processing.21 However, Rolziracetam Newman and colleagues use the term in a temporal sense; processing by higher order processes of the first stimulus in a sequence of stimuli acts as a bottleneck for processing the second stimulus in a sequence. It is clear that regions implicated in top-down attentional control (ie, higher order attentional processes), such as lateral frontal, dorsomedial, and parietal cortices, impact the amygdala’s response to emotional stimuli.