Psychopathy and Brain Function: Empirical Findings and Legal Implications

A major focus of interest in contemporary research on mental disorders consists of work aimed at identifying differences in brain systems and processes associated with particular disorders or symptomatic expressions of disorders. This interest arises from the view that knowledge of the structure and workings of the brain is crucial to an understanding of psychological processes underlying abnormal behavior, which in turn will contribute to the development of optimally effective methods of treatment (i.e., by directly targeting underlying, brain-based processing deviations; Dadds & Rhodes, 2008; Insel & Cuthbert, 2009).