Attention to the eyes and fear-recognition deficits in child psychopathy

Mark R. Dadds*, Yael Perry, David J. Hawes, Sabine Merz, Alison C. Riddell, Damien J. Haines, Emel Solak, Amali I. Abeygunawardane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

345 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to recognise fear is impaired in people with damage to the amygdala and, interestingly, in adult psychopathy. Here we confirm that deficits in recognising fear exist in children with psychopathic traits. We show for the first time that, as with patients with amygdala damage, this deficit can be temporarily corrected by simply asking them to focus on the eyes of other people. These data support models of psychopathy that emphasise specific dysfunction of the amygdala and suggest an innovative approach for intervening early in the development of psychopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-281
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberSEP.
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


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