What drew you to the talk you did?
The striking title of the video is what drew me to it. “Exploring the mind of a killer just seemed very intriguing and mysterious. I’ve always loved crime shows as well and understanding the mind of a killer is usually how the crime is solved.
Briefly summarize the talk
Jim Fallon, a neuroscientist who has researched various topics over his long career, on day decides to study the mind of killers, more specifically what is different in the brains of psychopathic killers. Examples of psychopathic killers are people such as Ted Bundy, Jeffery Dahmer, and Charles Manson. Three things determine what damage the minds of killers: genes, biological/epigenetic damage, and the environment. All of these have to occur within a specific time frame to form a psychopathic killer. After studying the brain scan of psychopathic killers he discovered that nearly all of them had damage to their orbital cortex. He also discovered that they all had the gene MAOA, an X-linked gene, which is why males were more likely to be psychopathic killers. This gene causes the brain of fetuses to be soaked in serotonin making them insensitive to the neurotransmitter, which promotes calmness, later in life. The psychopaths he studied had these risk factors but a strong traumatic incident had to occur to trigger the psychopathic tendencies within these killers
What did you find most interesting about the talk?
I found that the presenter having a family history of psychopathic killers to be very interesting. This made his research very close to home and I believe allowed him to research this topic as passionately as he did. It was also cool how he took brain scans, EEGs, and analyzed the genetics of his family members to determine how at risk they were for becoming psychopathic killers.
How trustworthy did you find the presenter and the information she or he presented?
I found the presenter to be very trustworthy. Jim Fallon has studied and researched various subjects of neuroscience for about 35 years and is a professor at the University of California.
My Own Research Idea
During the presentation Jim Fallon talked about a=how nearly all the killers were exposed to severe trauma at a young age and this played a huge role in their development into psychopathic killers. I would research which form of trauma had the highest risk for psychopathic killers.