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Title: Psychopathy moderates the relationship between orbitofrontal and striatal alterations and violence : the investigation of individuals accused of homicide
Authors: Lam, BYH 
Yang, Y
Schug, RA
Han, C
Liu, J
Lee, TMC
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2017
Source: Frontiers in human neuroscience, 1 Dec. 2017, v. 11, 579, p. 1-11
Abstract: Brain structural abnormalities in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and striatum (caudate and putamen) have been observed in violent individuals. However, a uni-modal neuroimaging perspective has been used and prior findings have been mixed. The present study takes the multimodal structural brain imaging approaches to investigate the differential gray matter volumes (GMV) and cortical thickness (CTh) in the OFC and striatum between violent (accused of homicide) and non-violent (not accused of any violent crimes) individuals with different levels of psychopathic traits (interpersonal and unemotional qualities, factor 1 psychopathy and the expressions of antisocial disposition and impulsivity, factor 2 psychopathy). Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging data, psychopathy and demographic information were assessed in sixty seven non-violent or violent adults. The results showed that the relationship between violence and the GMV in the right lateral OFC varied across different levels of the factor 1 psychopathy. At the subcortical level, the psychopathy level (the factor 1 psychopathy) moderated the positive relationship of violence with both left and right putamen GMV as well as left caudate GMV. Although the CTh findings were not significant, overall findings suggested that psychopathic traits moderated the relationship between violence and the brain structural morphology in the OFC and striatum. In conclusion, psychopathy takes upon a significant role in moderating violent behavior which gives insight to design and implement prevention measures targeting violent acts, thereby possibly mitigating their occurrence within the society.
Keywords: Cortical thickness
Orbitofrontal cortex
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Journal: Frontiers in human neuroscience 
EISSN: 1662-5161
DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00579
Rights: Copyright © 2017 Lam, Yang, Schug, Han, Liu and Lee. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
The following publication Lam BYH, Yang Y, Schug RA, Han C, Liu J and Lee TMC (2017) Psychopathy Moderates the Relationship between Orbitofrontal and Striatal Alterations and Violence: The Investigation of Individuals Accused of Homicide. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 11:579,1-11 is available at
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