Psychopaths in jail have wobbly white matter between the brain region associated with a moral center (ventromedial prefrontal cortex) and the brain region associated with animal spirits (the amygdala) resulting in lack of coordination between the two areas. (Press release via U of Wisconsin, here).
Julian C. Motzkin, Joseph P. Newman, Kent A. Kiehl, Michael Koenigs. Reduced Prefrontal Connectivity in Psychopathy. Journal of Neuroscience, 2011; 31 (48): 17348-17357 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4215-11.2011
Well now. We’re taking this opportunity to gloat – we called it back in the quaint year of 2008, when January was our “White Matter Month,” to wit our post: “Do Psychopaths Dream?”, followed up by our post, Psychopaths, platypus, mammalian infants – REM sleep but no dreams may indicate white matter disconnect.
Now that the science is becoming a consensus, and we can see if someone is biologically similar to known psychopaths, doesn’t that call for additional diligence by boards of directors? We think the D&O liability insurance companies should step it up. Figure out if having a psychopathic CEO is a risk or not.