The Neuroscientist Who Knew He Was A Psychopath

Samuel Reason | December 20th, 2017

In 2005, James Fallon was searching through thousands of PET scans for a research study that looked for a link between brain patterns and the actions carried out by a psychopath. Mostly he was looking at the brain scans of serial killers and other violent criminals. Yet he was also cross-checking these scans with many other patients like schizophrenics, depressives and normal brain patterns. Consequently though at the time he was also doing some research into Alzheimer’s and because this also had access to the scans of himself and all his family.

traumaticbraininjury.net

Fallon had created a theory around having low activity in the areas of the brain that were linked to empathy, morality, and self-control. This was being confirmed when he looked at the brain scans from serial killers, and it also had a very logical base – if you cannot feel true empathy for others than you will be more prone to proceed with actions that society feels are morally wrong.

Imagine Fallon’s shock when he found the pattern that fit the profile in the scans of his family members! Would you tell the world if you knew there was a possible psychopath in your immediate family? Fallon had to know and decided to confirm who’s scan he possessed, when he checked though he discovered an alarming truth! It was his own scan.

Was his whole hypothesis wrong? Fallon had never killed anyone or committed any sort of violent action. Maybe he was looking at the wrong areas of the brain completely then? However, the neuroscientist was not put off his research and decided to do further genetic checks on himself. These checks were even more unsettling, all the genetic properties that are confirmed to be linked to more aggressive behavior were present in his body!

“I’m obnoxiously competitive. I won’t let my grandchildren win games. I’m kind of an asshole, and I do jerky things that piss people off.” – James Fallon

He eventually came to the conclusion that he was a pro-social psychopath, this refers to someone who does have difficulty feeling true empathy but is able to keep their actions within the realm of what society perceives as acceptable. What his research has discovered is that not every psychopath is taken to violence and that your path in life is not just determined from your genes at birth. Your genetic behaviors can be influenced by those around you, in Fallon’s case he believes he did not go down a violent path because he was loved during his childhood. Confirming that everyone is capable of change!

Next Article
  • The Company Teaching Crows To Clean Up Cigarette Butts

    We often comment on how polluted the world is and that no one takes enough incentives to throw things in the trash correctly. Many companies around the world are trying to help governments create recycling programs that work, and startup company is even employing some friendly crows to do the work for them. And why...

    Read More
  • Some Hunters Save Time By Using Pre-Seasoned Buckshot

    When it comes to hunting and shotguns, you really never know what a ballistic company may make next to try and encourage hunters to buy more of their products. If it is not ingenious ways to hold their rifles or stylish looking ammo holders and numerous other accessories then the one thing they like to...

    Read More
  • Julius Caesar And The Year Of Confusion

    What we have now known as 46 BC in modern times was an extremely odd year during the time of the Roman Empire. This was at the height of Julius Caesar’s beautiful Rome and he was preparing to shake up the year with some large calendar reforms. In the end, it extended for 445 days...

    Read More
  • Shrek The Sheep Whose Fleece Provided Twenty Suits

    Shrek was just an ordinary sheep living in South Island, New Zealand when one day Shrek decided to go on an adventure and escaped from his enclosure. Merino sheep normally have their coat sheared once a year, but Shrek hated this with a passion. For over 6 years his escape was a successful one, hiding...

    Read More
  • New York Has Entire Fake Buildings

    In one novel called Foucault’s Pendulum, we watch two characters talk about a house that does not appear to be real. That people walk merrily passed a house in Paris but do not know the real truth, that the house is completely fake. There are just two walls, an entire facade: an enclosure with no...

    Read More
  • Barcelona Feeds Their Pigeons With Contraceptives

    In an ultimate bid to try and lower their rising pigeon population, Barcelona has installed special dispensers around the city that feeds pigeons with maize that is laced with contraceptives. If you see them on the streets then you may believe it just be a very modern looking garbage bin, but that is where you...

    Read More
  • You May Have Been Piloted By A King!

    For over 20 years the King of the Netherlands was flying at least twice a month as a co-pilot, and his passengers did not even know! So this may mean you were flown around Europe by a king. Willem-Alexander took his place on the throne in 2013 but he kept flying in the cockpit also...

    Read More
  • Actually, Over 90% Of Bees Do Not Live In A Hive

    It may come as a major surprise to most of you that solitary bees actually make up the biggest part of the global bee population, we count over 90% of bees being in the solitary category. There are over 25,000 different individual types of bee species worldwide, such as the mason bees, the leafcutters or...

    Read More