This is a somewhat old study done by ex-USC research Adrian Raine that suggests that the difference between high functioning "successful" sociopaths and low functioning "unsuccessful" sociopaths might actually be neurological:
He tested the theory that psychopaths with hippocampal impairments could become insensitive to cues that predicted punishment and capture. As a result, he said, these “impaired’ psychopaths were more likely to be apprehended than psychopaths without that deficit.In a second study, he looked at the corpus callosum of both types of sociopaths, and found that they are both longer and thinner than that of the average neurotypical:
Fewer than half of both the control subjects and the “successful” psychopaths had an asymmetrical hippocampus.
Ninety-four percent of the unsuccessful psychopaths had that same abnormality, with the right side of the hippocampus larger than the left.
Raine said the results suggest, but don’t prove, a neuro-developmental root for psychopathy.
The corpus callosum is a bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two hemispheres of the brain, enabling them to work together to process information and regulate autonomic function. Raine explored its role in psychopathy for the first time.Of course they don't credit the sociopath brain as having an advantage over a neurotypical brain, despite the demonstrated greater efficiency in transmitting information between brain hemispheres. Instead this efficiency is vaguely insinuated as the cause for the sociopath's "less remorse, fewer emotions and less social connectedness - the classic hallmarks of a psychopath."
“There’s faulty wiring going on in psychopaths. They’re wired differently than other people,” Raine said. “In a way, it’s literally true in this case.”
He found that the psychopaths’ corpus callosums were an average of 23 percent larger and 7 percent longer than the control groups’.
“The corpus callosum is bigger, but it’s also thinner. That suggests that it developed abnormally,” Raine said.
The rate that the psychopaths transmitted information from one hemisphere to the other through the corpus callosum also was abnormally high, Raine said.
Normal people, even scientists, won't ever admit that a sociopath's brain might actually be better. Every single article I have seen that even comes close to discussing some of the advantages of the sociopathic brain eventually backs off and makes some pat conclusion about how broken we are. In fact, the title of the article is "Out of Order." But there are two meanings to that phrase, and I think only one of them applies to this sort of bias thinly masked as science.