I received the following comment on another site. The tone is perhaps questionable but the points and implied questions are quite reasonable.
“. . . following Siegel’s and Schore’s writings, I have good reason to suspect that we’ll find abnormalities in the right orbitofrontal cortical regions of true psychopaths. And BTW “sociopath” is an older term, not in common clinical usage. Psychopathy isn’t in the DSM-IV either. Hare tried to get it into DSM-V but I don’t think he managed. The closest the DSM comes is Antisocial Personality Disorder, but criminal psychlogists, following Hare’s lead, do measure and define psychopathy with the Psychopathy Checklist (Revised form), and consider it essentially a subset of ASPD. Also if you’re familiar with Raine’s work on brain scans of criminals (e.g. convicted killers), you’ll know that he turned up some interesting abnormalities (mostly frontal & prefrontal) in those populations.”
1. Brain function and structure are not my area, but I’m not surprised it’s a fruitful area of study. I’m more interested in behavioral observations that anyone can make and take into account.
2. I use the term sociopath because it’s less pejorative. I find that the word psychopath is so pejorative people simply won’t consider that it might apply to people they know. However, I may be forced to use the more common equivalent term.
2. Concerning the DSM-IV, I have no respect for it whatsoever. ASPD confuses faux psychopaths with actual psychopaths. It also doesn’t allow for the existence of successful psychopaths who can pass for normal at will. Robert Hare: “. . . most individuals with ASPD are not psychopaths.”. Hare article on ASPD
(I post here and there, sort of as advertising. These posts, mostly very short and written very quickly, can be found, if anyone is interested, by searching for “pathwhisperer” google search.)