High Psychopathic Trait Females Exhibit Reduced Startle Potentiation and Increased P3 Amplitude

Nathaniel E. Anderson, Matthew S. Stanford, Li Wan, Keith A. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

While there has been steady progress in identifying psychophysiological traits associated with psychopathy, most of the existing research has been carried out using incarcerated male participants, and data that include females are particularly rare. This study examined both affective startle blink modulation and P3 amplitude in a sample of female undergraduates grouped by scores on the Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised (PPI-R). Those scoring high for psychopathic traits lacked startle blink potentiation and demonstrated larger P3 amplitudes during auditory and visual oddball tasks. These data support the generalizability of deficient startle potentiation to non-incarcerated females with psychopathic traits, and add to a growing body of literature suggesting that psychopathic traits are associated with distinctive information-processing characteristics as indexed by P3 amplitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-666
Number of pages18
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

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