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Conduct problems and callous-unemotional traits: Genetic and brain imaging findings

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Abstract:

Psychopathy is an adult diagnosis comprised of both callous-unemotional personality traits (lack of empathy and guilt) and overt antisocial behaviour. One can also find children who exhibit both conduct problems and callous-unemotional traits and are at an increased risk for developing psychopathy.

Research from our lab and others has documented that callous-unemotional traits are heritable, yet can change across development. Conduct problems in the presence of callous-unemotional traits show high heritability, whereas conduct problems in the absence of such traits do not. Further evidence for callous-unemotional traits delineating distinct sub-groups of children with conduct problems comes from recent neuroimaging work, which I will discuss at the latter part of the talk.

Bio:

Essi Viding did her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. She is currently Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London and also a Research Associate at the Institute of Psychiatry: MRC Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre. Her research combines different methodologies in an effort to chart different developmental pathways to persistent antisocial behaviour.

This talk is part of the Zangwill Club series.

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