Imaging has revealed significant differences in the brains of psychopaths and the brains of other criminals.
The study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that psychopaths have reduced connections between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex - the part of the brain responsible for empathy and guilt.
Differences were also found in the amygdale, which controls fear and anxiety.
Professor Michael Koenigs, author of the study, stated: "Those two structures in the brain, which are believed to regulate emotion and social behaviour, seem to not be communicating as they should [in psychopaths]."
Researchers believe that the discovery may explain the anti-social behaviour exhibited by some psychopaths and may illuminate new treatment pathway options.
A study at Vanderbilt University also discovered that psychopath's brains were wired to seek reward at any cost.
Scientists speculated that a hyper-reactive dopamine reward system may be one of the contributing factors to psychopathic behaviour, such as violent crime, recidivism and substance abuse.
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