This chapter reviews the body of psychophysiological research that has been conducted in psychopathy and discusses how this research has improved our understanding of the neurobiological correlates. One of these is David Lykken's seminal work involving psychophysiological processes in psychopaths. Lykken's studies sought to empirically test the assertion that the main clinical characteristic of psychopaths was a lack of normal emotional responses. Lykken hypothesized that the emotional deficit of psychopaths was specific to emotions such as fear or anxiety. Indeed, he found that psychopathic individuals were not as physiologically responsive when anticipating aversive events such as an electric shock or loud noise. He developed the hypothesis that low fearfulness is one of the primary deficits in psychopathy.
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