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Dysfunctional error-related processing in incarcerated youth with elevated psychopathic traits
University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications
  • J. Michael Maurer, University of New Mexico
  • Vaughn R. Steele, University of New Mexico
  • Lora M. Cope, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • Gina M. Vincent, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Julia M. Stephen, The Mind Research Network
  • Vince D. Calhoun, University of New Mexico
  • Kent A. Kiehl, University of New Mexico
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Psychiatry, Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center
Publication Date
Document Type
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.
  • Error-related processing,
  • Event-related potentials,
  • Juvenile delinquency,
  • Principal component analysis,
  • Psychopathy
DOI of Published Version
Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2016 Jun;19:70-7. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2016.02.006. Epub 2016 Feb 22. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Citation Information
J. Michael Maurer, Vaughn R. Steele, Lora M. Cope, Gina M. Vincent, et al.. "Dysfunctional error-related processing in incarcerated youth with elevated psychopathic traits" Vol. 19 (2016) ISSN: 1878-9293 (Linking)
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