I’ve always wondered about people who can kill and feel no remorse. It just seems incomprehensible to me. Because I don’t understand this at all, I want to know more about the brain structure of someone that we may loosely term “a psychopath.” The DSM-IV does not use this term, so I will also be talking about “antisocial disorders” at times. The two are not synonymous, but it seems clear that a psychopath must suffer from some kind of an antisocial disorder. Therefore, the neurobiological studies of antisocial disorders may have some bearing on the brain structure of psychopaths as well.
First, it is important to provide a loose definition of a psychopath. Psychopaths tend to be cruel and manipulative, and may enjoy causing pain to others. They also tend to lie compulsively, believe themselves to be perfect, and feel no remorse. (1). Psychopaths are often violent criminals, but there is also evidence that many are able to control their violent tendencies, and simply find other outlets for cruelty. They may harm animals, or be psychologically manipulative of those around them, instead of being violent. The most common characteristic of psychopaths is a lack of conscience.