Psychopaths Have a Lousy Sense of Smell

Study suggests it's no coincidence both originate in orbito-frontal complex
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Suggested by I_hate_to_say
Posted Sep 21, 2012 1:35 PM CDT
Honestly, we're not sure why this guy looks like a psychopath to us. He just does.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you know someone with a terrible sense of smell, you might want to be careful around them. A new study suggests a link between a crappy olfactory and being psychopathic, AFP reports via Raw Story. Both phenomena have separately been linked to the same part of the brain, the orbito-frontal complex, so researchers in Australia decided to give smell tests to 79 diagnosed non-criminal psychopaths.

The results? Those who scored highest in tests for psychopathic traits also had the hardest time discriminating between different scents. "Olfactory measures represent a potentially interesting marker for psychopathic traits," the study says, "because performance expectancies are unclear in odor tests, and may therefore be less susceptible to attempts to fake 'good' or 'bad' responses." Assuming, of course, that they haven't read about the study. So don't forward this to any potential psychopaths, OK? (Read more psychopath stories.)

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