The Neuroscientist Who Knew He Was A Psychopath

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
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Let’s Nuke The Moon Just Because We Can

    Any guesses to who once said that? Yup, you guessed it… The United States once planned to shoot a nuclear bomb at the moon for the sole reason of “Because We Can!” The absolute ridiculous project was put into action during the 1950s by the U.S. Air Force and was...

    Read More
  • The Biggest Spread Of Plague Was Not Caused By Rats

    New studies have shown that rats have been unfairly accused of being the main culprit of causing the immense spread of plague during the time known as the Black Death. Initially, the rats were believed to have spread the plague so severely during 14th century Central Europe due to them...

    Read More
  • The First Medieval North American City

    Cahokia was a settlement that thrived during the years of A.D. 1050-1200, a city that held a population of 10000 to 20000 people and covered over six square miles. This made it bigger than even London at the time and numerous other European cities. It was located in Mississippi, close...

    Read More
  • Twenty-Two Years Of Poop Removed Surgically From One Man

    Remember that last time you could not go to the toilet? You just sat there in agony, with just nothing coming out? Or that constipated bloated sensation that never goes away, well now think that you have had that feeling for wait for it... 22 whole years. Impossible, right? Yes, one Chinese man has defied...

    Read More
  • Yes, There Was A Black Nazi

    Meet Hans Massaquoi, one of the very rare and few biracial Germans who were born and grew up during the Nazi regime. Though do not be mislead by the photo, he was not actually allowed to join the Nazi Party. This does not really make much sense when you remember...

    Read More
  • Marijuana Farms Are Killing Owls

    In California the great marijuana legalization growing revolution is having some dire consequences to the local ecosystem, notably, it seems to be killing Northern spotted owls! Unfortunately the profitable of the marijuana legalization vote in California has seen the rise of numerous unpermitted private grow sites. These grow sites are...

    Read More
  • Napoleon’s Biggest Loss Was Against A Horde Of Rabbits

    Napoleon Bonaparte, the famous French emperor who dominated European and even global affairs for over a decade from 1804 to 1814. Renown for being one of the greatest military commanders ever to rule, his campaigns and victories are still studied around the world today. He won the vast majority of his battles, which means his...

    Read More