Cortical and subcortical gray matter volume in psychopathy: a voxel-wise meta-analysis.

Stephane A. De Brito, Daniel McDonald, Julia A. Camilleri, Jack C. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies of gray matter volume (GMV) in psychopathy have produced inconsistent results and few have been replicated. Therefore, to clarify GMV abnormalities associated with psychopathy as operationalized by Hare (2003), we conducted a meta-analysis of VBM studies using both categorical and dimensional analyses. We identified seven studies eligible for the categorical meta-analysis (136 men with psychopathy vs 150 male controls) and 11 studies (N = 519) eligible for dimensional metaregressions. First, we used seed-based d mapping with permutation of subject images for voxel-based meta-analyses. Statistical parametric maps of GMV were available for four (57%) of the studies included in the categorical meta-analysis and for five (45%) of the studies included in the dimensional metaregression analyses, with peak coordinates available for the remaining studies. Second, we used metadata of a large-scale neuroimaging database to provide an objective and quantitative account of psychological processes attributed to the brain regions we identified in our group meta-analysis and metaregressions. Men with psychopathy exhibited reliable GMV abnormalities circumscribed to the left hemisphere in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the medial orbitofrontal cortex. Total psychopathy scores and Factors 1 and 2 scores were all related to decreased GMV within those two prefrontal regions, as well as decreased GMV in a wider set of regions encompassing midline, temporal, parietal, occipital, and subcortical structures. We discuss how decreased GMV in those regions likely account for the impairments in the emotion, cognition, action, and perception domains seen in the disorder. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) General Scientific Summary—This review shows that psychopathy is associated with gray matter volume decreases in two prefrontal regions and that the two dimensions of the disorder are also associated with grey matter decrease in those two prefrontal regions, as well as in a wider set of regions including midline, temporal, parietal, occipital, and subcortical structures. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-640
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Volume130
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • gray matter volume
  • meta-analysis
  • psychopathy
  • signed differential mapping
  • voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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