Response reversal and children with psychopathic tendencies: success is a function of salience of contingency change
Article first published online: 6 DEC 2004
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 46, Issue 9, pages 972–981, September 2005
How to Cite
Budhani, S. and Blair, R.J.R. (2005), Response reversal and children with psychopathic tendencies: success is a function of salience of contingency change. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46: 972–981. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00398.x
- Issue published online: 17 AUG 2005
- Article first published online: 6 DEC 2004
- Manuscript accepted 24 July 2004
- antisocial behavior;
- orbitofrontal cortex;
- response reversal
Background: Previous work has inconsistently reported difficulties with response reversal/extinction in children with psychopathic tendencies.
Method: We tested the hypothesis that the degree of impairment seen in children with psychopathic tendencies is a function of the salience of contingency change. We investigated the performance of children with psychopathic tendencies on a novel probabilistic response reversal task involving four conditions with gradated reward–punishment contingencies (100–0, 90–10, 80–20 and 70–30; i.e., for the 100–0 contingency, responding to one object is always rewarded while responding to the other is always punished).
Results: In line with predictions, the impairment seen in the children with psychopathic tendencies was an inverse function of the salience of the contingency change.
Conclusions: We suggest that this data is consistent with suggestions of subtle orbital frontal cortex impairment in children with psychopathic tendencies.