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Psychopaths have feelings, too

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PSYCHOPATHS HAVE FEELINGS, TOO

Hannibal Lecter can probably feel for his victims, but only if you ask him. A brain-imaging study of 18 violent, psychopathic criminals in the Netherlands suggests they can summon empathy when prompted. The report, published in the journal Brain, showed that empathic circuits that are unconsciously activated in the brains of normal people may be switched off in psychopaths -- not absent, as commonly thought. Those circuits, the study showed, can be activated after psychopaths are prompted to see a situation from someone else's point of view.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 3, 2013 D4

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