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
  • Is It Opposite Day Or Do I Have Situs Inversus

    If you happen to suffer from Situs Inversus then you may believe you are constantly looking in a mirror or that opposite day is actually a real and true reality. But that would of course not be true, your organs are simply placed in a mirror image of what is the norm. An extremely rare...

    Read More
  • Prehistoric Armadillo The Size Of A Car

    When it comes to prehistoric times it really is as if every animal was bigger than its modern counterpart. Mammoths were bigger than elephants and sloths were even taller than elephants! Some researchers have even found alligators and crocodiles that grew to the size of a city bus. And this holds true for the armadillo...

    Read More
  • People Turning Into Real Living Statues

    For most people if you fall down or have a minor injury it is not usually a big deal, maybe a little a painful and that's all but this is not the case for everyone. Some individuals live in real fear of a small injury, this is known as Stone Man Syndrome. Every little injury...

    Read More
  • The Tuna Fish Is So Strong It Can Cook Itself

    There is one fish in the ocean that you may not want to come across on a day of ocean fishing. If you happen to be out on a boating trip with some deep sea fishing in the Atlantic then you could come across the warm-blooded Atlantic bluefin tuna. This happens to be one of...

    Read More
  • Radium Girls The Terrible Time Of Using Radioactive Paint

    Just about a century ago the rage was, of course, to have a glow in the dark watch, nobody could resist them. It was a novelty that was being marketed heavily and making watch companies millions, it was like any of the hot social media trends of modern times. They did not need to charge...

    Read More
  • The Terrifying Titanoboa

    In the dusty outback of Northern Colombia, deep in the Cerrejon about just 60 miles from the Caribbean coast, you will find one of the largest coal operations in operation. It covers an area larger than Washington D.C. and estimates advise there are regularly over 10,000 workers employed. The company that operates the mining, Carbones...

    Read More
  • Man Lands A Plane In Manhattan Street Twice

    Surprise airplane landings tend to always make headlines, especially in the streets of a major US city. I doubt anyone can forget Capt Chesley Sullenberger landing on the Hudson River in 2009? There was a long island man who once landed on Rockaway Beach in 2011 and a pilot who landed on a small Suffolk...

    Read More
  • Escaping Prison To See The Dentist

    In terms of great escapes, this is definitely an odd one, one would think if you were to escape prison it would be to retrieve your freedom and just to keep on running. But for one inmate in Sweden the stakes were much different: in fact, it had to do with a toothache and nothing...

    Read More