Étude de la réponse cérébrale à la douleur d'autrui et de l'empathie auprès d'échantillons populationnel et clinique d'hommes présentant des traits psychopathiques

Authors: Marcoux, Louis-Alexandre
Advisor: Jackson, Philip L.Lemelin, Sophie
Abstract: At the core of psychopathic individuals is their reduced disposition for empathy. Over the last few years, the neurophysiological investigation of pain perception in others has become an interesting pathway to study empathy from a neuroscientific point of view. Numerous studies have shown that the affective and sensory systems involved in the experience of pain are also triggered by the perception of pain in others. However, the functional mechanisms underlying the sensory system in psychopathic individuals remain misunderstood. Using EEG, this thesis proposes two studies aimed at assessing the somatosensory responses during pain perception in others and evaluating the link between these responses and psychopathic personality traits. A first study was realized with a community sample of male college students and a second one using a clinical sample of high psychopathic traits narcissistic patients. This thesis also aimed at bridging the gap between the fields of social neurosciences and personality pathology from a clinical perspective via an integrative theoretical paper. Results from both studies suggest a significantly stronger modulation of somatosensory responses during pain perception in participants showing high psychopathic traits despite their lower disposition for empathy. Furthermore, the first study critically showed that interpersonal and affective dimension of psychopathy is related to this somatosensory response. Data from the second study point out to a stronger modulation of somatosensory responses during the anticipation of pain perception in others in high psychopathic traits narcissistic patients. Overall, the data suggests that the pain perception model applied to psychopathic individual could be considered in term of a hyperactivation of the somatosensory system. In conjunction with others empirical evidences, this stronger activation of the somatosensory system might be explained by a hyporeactivity of the system involved in the affective response to the pain of others. In sum, results contribute to refine the empathy model related to psychopathy and help better disentangle the components of empathy.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2013
Open Access Date: 19 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/24619
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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