• Electrophysiological study of the violence inhibition mechanism in relation to callous-unemotional and aggressive traits.

      Fido, Dean; Santo, Miguel G.E.; Bloxsom, Claire A.J.; Gregson, Michael; Sumich, Alexander L.; Nottingham Trent University; University of Oxford; University of Nottingham (Elsevier, 2017-08-04)
      The violence inhibition mechanism (VIM) proposes that observing another’s distress inhibits responses that can lead to violent behaviour. Dysfunction of this system is associated with disorders characterised by aggressive and callous-unemotional traits, such as psychopathy. This study examines electrophysiological indices of face processing and motor extinction, in the context of aggressive and callous-unemotional traits. Fifty-four participants completed the inventory of callous and unemotional traits, the aggression questionnaire, and a Facial Affect Stop-Go task whereby facial distress was used as stop signals. Uncaring traits inversely associated with N170 amplitude across all facial expressions and aggressive traits inversely associated with Stop-P300 amplitude to facial distress. The N170 and Stop-P300 might provide useful electrophysiological markers for deficits across face processing and motor extinction stages of the VIM, respectively.
    • Empathy mediates the relationship between nature connectedness and both callous and uncaring traits

      Fido, Dean; Richardson, Miles; University of Derby (Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 2019-03-07)
      Across the world and time, humans share an innate affinity with nature. In addition to its benefits for mental well-being, the psychological construct of nature connectedness has been associated with several psychopathy-relevant traits including agreeableness, perspective-taking, and empathic concern. This study is the first of its kind to investigate whether nature connectedness is associated with indices of psychopathy, specifically, and whether these associations are further mediated by individual variation in cognitive and affective empathy—traits long considered to be deficient in psychopathy. One hundred and ninety-five participants completed an online survey whereby they were asked to self-report nature connectedness, empathy, and callous, uncaring, and unemotional traits—proxy measures for the affective component of psychopathy in community samples. Nature connectedness was positively associated with cognitive and affective empathy and inversely associated with callous and uncaring, but not unemotional, facets of personality. Furthermore, whereas cognitive empathy mediated the relationship between nature connectedness and both callous and uncaring traits, affective empathy only mediated the relationship between nature connectedness and callous traits. These findings provide evidence that broadens our understanding of the potential benefits of nature connectedness in general, and how subsequently increasing one's nature connectedness and associated ability to take the perspective of another might impact psychopathy, more specifically. As such, this study establishes the groundwork for future investigation and intervention in forensic populations.