Thanks for the link, Cooper. This kind of info is very relevant to much of what we discuss here.
Wasn’t GWB as a child, known for torturing animals?
From that article,
Bullies may actually enjoy the pain they cause others, a new study using brain scans suggests.
The part of the brain associated with reward lights up when an aggressive teen watches a video of someone hurting another person, but not when a non-aggressive youth watches the same clip, according to the University of Chicago study, published in the current Biological Psychology.
“Aggressive adolescents showed a specific and very strong activation of the amygdala and ventral striatum (an area that responds to feeling rewarded) when watching pain inflicted on others, which suggested that they enjoyed watching pain,” researcher Jean Decety, a professor in psychology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago, said in a university news release. “Unlike the control group, the youth with conduct disorder did not activate the area of the brain involved in self-regulation (the medial prefrontal cortex and the temporoparietal junction).”
Researchers were somewhat shocked at what they had learned:
While both groups showed activity in the brain’s pain centers, the brains of aggressive males, those with conduct disorder, also showed activity in the brain’s pleasure centers, suggesting that they may have been enjoying what they were seeing. Normal males showed no such activity.
“It just dumbfounded us,” said Dr. Benjamin Lahey, co-author of the study and professor of epidemiology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago.
Lahey said he expected an emotionally indifferent response to pain from subjects with conduct disorder, a mental disorder characterized by aggressive, destructive or harmful behavior towards other people and animals and can include theft, substance abuse and sexual promiscuity, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
It turns out that the brain circuitry in people with conduct disorder is different from a neurotypical person’s when it comes to pain.