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Psychopaths have poor sense of smell: Study

Published on Sep 20, 2012 10:50 PM

PARIS (AFP) - Psychopaths have a remarkably poor sense of smell, according to a study published on Thursday.

Researchers in Australia tested a theory that psychopathy - a severe personality disorder characterised by lack of empathy, antisocial behaviour and callousness - may be linked to impaired smell ability.

Both phenomena have been independently traced to dysfunction in part of the brain called the orbito-frontal complex (OFC).

Dr Mehmet Mahmut and Dr Richard Stevenson of the Department of Psychology at Sydney's Macquarie University trialled the olfactory skills of 79 individuals, aged 19 to 21, who had been diagnosed as non-criminal psychopaths and lived in the community.

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