Brain Scans Show Bullies Enjoy Others' Pain
FRIDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Bullies may actually enjoy the pain they cause others, a new study using brain scans suggests.
The part of the brain associated with reward lights up when an aggressive teen watches a video of someone hurting another person, but not when a non-aggressive youth watches the same clip, according to the University of Chicago study, published in the current Biological Psychology.
"Aggressive adolescents showed a specific and very strong activation of the amygdala and ventral striatum (an area that responds to feeling rewarded) when watching pain inflicted on others, which suggested that they enjoyed watching pain," researcher Jean Decety, a professor in psychology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago, said in a university news release. "Unlike the control group, the youth with conduct disorder did not activate the area of the brain involved in self-regulation (the medial prefrontal cortex and the temporoparietal junction)."
So, which came first? The chicken or the egg?
Does violence effect the developing brain? Does a brain defect lead to violence?
This study could explain why many of the bullying strategies used in schools could not curtail bad behavior. Bullies are not motivated in the way that the politically correct/self-esteem camp would wish to believe.
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