By | September 28, 2013 8 Comments

Psychopaths’ brains react to pain in themselves, but not others

Researchers studied the brains of 121 prison inmates who were categorized as weakly, moderately or highly psychopathic. While in an fMRI brain imaging machine, the inmates were shown photos of someone experiencing physical pain, for example, a finger caught in a door.

Asked to imagine it was their finger, the psychopaths’ brains showed typical neural responses. But asked to imagine it was another person’s finger, the psychopathic brains did not register a pain response. They showed a pleasure response.

Neurological basis for lack of empathy in psychopaths, on

Here’s another similar study:

Psychopaths are not neurally equipped to have concern for others, on


Posted in: Scientific research

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Thank you for posting these studies.They explain why my husband could treat me with a cold shoulder and give me the silent treatment—turning his head to the wall or looking at the computer instead of me,despite all I did for him.No matter how much love and compassion I showed him,it didn’t get better…only worse.He isolated me even from my neighbors in the apt building.Only when I walked out on him (yesterday was 1 yr!!!)did he come alive,showing a sense of rage that I would dare do such a thing to him!


Thank you for this article. This explains a lot. When I had severe hypertension I was told by my husband it was my imagination; it was all in my head. Even with other problems he had no compassion or empathy. And yes it almost felt like he got pleasure out of my pain. This is why he wants to keep “pushing my buttons” so I will be in agony, so he can get his satisfaction. This is where the no contact plays a big part. If I don’t respond he cannot inflict any pain. Now it is even better with new phone numbers and emails. I don’t even see his insults anymore. What a sad truth the above shows. But at least I am aware of it now, which I wasn’t for the past 20 years.

I was told by my husband that he did not want to hear me cry or hear me complain about feeling bad!Yet he was always complaining about how he felt!

Another thing;I couldn’t figure out what he “got out of ” turning his head away from me and not talking to me.I finally figured it out after coming to Lovefraud!He knew that it caused me alot of emotional pain;that humans being social creatures need communication!


A cousin is a sociopath; she turns on tears and reacts to her pain when she does not get her way. “Look how they are treating me”…never “I stole this or lied about that”…nope, it is all about what she can take from others! Anyone who knows her steers clear. She lies, has bouts of physical rage, and steals when being honest would serve her better! Article/research is right on!!!


Explains so much. I remember vividly when he was stung by a scorpion when we were overseas. He woke up screaming and I saw the scorpion on the blanket and I tossed the blanket and it fell to the floor. I got a boot and smashed it beyond recognition and then got our health kit and siphoned the poison out the best I could. A few weeks later I was stung and he said I was making it up. He never helped at all. I had to siphon the poison out myself and he did not look for the scorpion.

Yep,they like getting attention…but don’t care enough about you to show you an ounce of attention…they might have to use up some of their delicate energy!


My “ex” had no problems sleeping through my nightime bathroom miscarriage despite my pleas for help. Likewise, when I once had the flu, I recall spending the night painfully voiding from all orifices while he kept sleeping and refused to help. But whenever he caught a small cold, he acted like he was dying and required all kinds of help.

I am so sorry you had to endure that bathroom miscarriage all alone!That was so brutal! The man showed what he was that night! He could make the baby;but he lost interest once he knew you were losing the child…at that time it became your problem and only your problem!

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