Facets of psychopathy, heart rate variability and cognitive function.
Journal of Personality Disorders. . Vol.21(5), Oct 2007, pp. 568-582. | 2007
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the four facets of Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 1991; Bolt, Hare, Vitale, & Newman, 2004) were related to physiological and cognitive mechanisms. Fifty-three male prisoners participated in this study. Physiological responses were measured as heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate (HR). Cognitive functions were measured using a continuous performance test (CPT; California Computerized Assessment Package, Abbreviated version) and a working memory test (WMT); based on Baddeley & Hitch (1974). The regression analysis of the HRV revealed that the interpersonal facet explained most of the variance during baseline (28%), CPT (16%), and WMT (12%). This was also true for the HR data during baseline (28%), CPT (20%), WMT (10%), and recovery (13%). The antisocial facet explained 10% of the variance only during baseline. Subjects scoring high compared to low on the interpersonal facet also showed better cognitive functioning. The study suggests that the different facets were differently associated with both physiological and cognitive functions.