Dysfunctional error-related processing in incarcerated youth with elevated psychopathic traits

J. Michael Maurer, Vaughn R. Steele, Lora M. Cope, Gina M. Vincent, Julia M. Stephen, Vince D. Calhoun, Kent A. Kiehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adult psychopathic offenders show an increased propensity towards violence, impulsivity, and recidivism. A subsample of youth with elevated psychopathic traits represent a particularly severe subgroup characterized by extreme behavioral problems and comparable neurocognitive deficits as their adult counterparts, including perseveration deficits. Here, we investigate response-locked event-related potential (ERP) components (the error-related negativity [ERN/Ne] related to early error-monitoring processing and the error-related positivity [Pe] involved in later error-related processing) in a sample of incarcerated juvenile male offenders (n = 100) who performed a response inhibition Go/NoGo task. Psychopathic traits were assessed using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV). The ERN/Ne and Pe were analyzed with classic windowed ERP components and principal component analysis (PCA). Using linear regression analyses, PCL:YV scores were unrelated to the ERN/Ne, but were negatively related to Pe mean amplitude. Specifically, the PCL:YV Facet 4 subscale reflecting antisocial traits emerged as a significant predictor of reduced amplitude of a subcomponent underlying the Pe identified with PCA. This is the first evidence to suggest a negative relationship between adolescent psychopathy scores and Pe mean amplitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-77
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Keywords

  • Error-related processing
  • Event-related potentials
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Principal component analysis
  • Psychopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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