Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bullies Enjoy Other People's Pain

The imaged brains of 16 to 18-year-old boys with known conduct disorders demonstrated excitation consistent with pleasure when the boys were shown images of pain inflicted on others (such as a piano lid slammed on fingers, see image). The researchers were surprised by these results. They had expected to demonstrate a lack of emotion in bullies, not pleasure. You have to wonder if the researchers went to junior high school. Still, it's another demonstration of the amazing possibilities of fMRI.

(image credit: (C) Dr. Jean Decety, University of Chicago)