Sunday, May 22, 2011

Brains of killers

From a reader, here's a video of Professor Jim Fallon (previously discussed here) talking about some of the research he has done on the brains of killer.

36 comments:

  1. What is this 'brain' you speak of? I do not know what it is like to have one so I cannot comment.

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  2. They found nothing abnormal with the brain of Ted bundy. John wayne gacy and the majority of other serial killers had brain injuries.

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  3. This reminds me of a video I was going to upload with one of my articles. Sadly it has been taken off, and there's no other videos in which is mentioned what I was writing about. I hope a new one will eventually be uploaded. It's (surprise) also about brain scans, but with another focus.

    Anyway, I guess there's not much to say about this video. He's doing research on confirmed findings... that is, they've been pretty much confirmed by now.

    One thing I find interesting though, is his pointing to the 'traumatic events' in the childhoods of psychopathic killers.

    Maybe that's why I've been pondering the same question: Maybe it's simply that most of the psychopaths I've gotten to know on a more intimate level were also killers (as am I). What I found to be the case with us all is that we tend to say our childhoods were quite common, but in reality they weren't. I tentatively concluded that all psychopaths' childhood have some common traits of - if not exactly abuse, then at least some degree of neglect or strictness. - Not that I think other people don't experience the same thing, that's not my point. I think - or thought, anyway - that perhaps it was more prevalent for psychoppaths.

    Oh well, here I go again about psychopaths. But hey, the groups do overlap! And after all, your articles are about both as well.

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  4. He seems curiously suspicious.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127888976

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  5. he has the frog eyes!!!

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  6. I believe that abuse plays a role but I don't think head trauma has anything to do with it, wouldn't that make the killer reckless and non calculated? Which you don't see often in organized serial killers.

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  7. People have a hard time admitting that evil exists, so they will come up with anything rather than admit to it. I even noticed this in a relative, she is a very happy woman who sees the good in others, we were sitting down watching a show about a child who murdered another kid, I made the complaint that people can be born evil, she became very upset and denied it outright, ironically this is the same woman who stayed with an abuser for over 15 years, she justified his behavior for him whilst he treated her like dirt. You see the same pattern in naive people.

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  8. Anonymous said...
    May 22, 2011 8:28 AM

    He just seemed too right and fit the picture too perfectly.

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  9. People have a hard time admitting that evil exists, so they will come up with anything rather than admit to it.

    Oh, I agree.

    In many ways it's part of the Just World Hypothesis, which seems to be a religion in our individualistic times, suspiciously close to faith because it lets us preserve our illusion of safety by clinging to the illusion that bad things happen to bad people.

    This obviously gives rise to victim blaming, which is akin to a false sense of moral superiority, because it supposes that people always get what they deserve.

    From the moment we're born in the West we're told that we control our destiny – so such thinking naturally follows that victims were asking for theirs.

    Our culture is continually seeking to order random happenings logically to create a sense of control.

    It's so much easier to deny the existence of evil in our culture than to admit that we cannot regulate it or our encounters with it.

    At the same time the (current) amorphous nature of evil is a wonderfully flexible tool of social control.

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  10. I know a family where the Mom narrowly escaped being killed in a concentration camp. She married a hard-assed man and raised a hard-assed son. She enabled both. Funny thing is, she also instilled paranoia in her kids. All the while, the son praises her as an angel. Believe me, that woman has got eyes in the back of her head, and she is no angel. She choses her battles.

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  11. It is only absolutist morality that forces the suppression and sublimation of our primal instincts.

    Without the psychic restraint of a conscience my pursuit of pleasure knows no bounds except the burden of capture.

    Social conditioning motivates the great unwashed not to pursue pleasure but to pursue an absence of pain - oh, wretched fools!

    Still, that they refute the existence of evil pleases me so. I don't exist, so they don't flee me...

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  12. just cos ur gf was a junkie u think ur a badass zeric but no one flees u cos ur a faggot looser

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  13. Are you sure? Social conditioning is all about the pursuit of pleasure as well as the absence of pain. It certainly doesn't care much for dirty people. Maybe you need to watch more TV or spend more time on FB. And anybody who refutes the existence of evil is probably too busy or ambitious to watch Dexter.

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  14. People have a hard time connecting to other people realistically so they create fictions that conform to what they wish to believe or suit the time allotted to be conclusively informed. Hence the vacuum, that for some, will always need to be filled by the social conditioning of the occasion.

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  15. dexter would be so much cooler if he were murdering innocent women and vulnerable prostitutes, but nobody would watch it.

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  16. Right you are, Gag: I rather meant black and white theological or moral conditioning.

    But, in causing the pain they must pursue an absence from, I concede that it nevertheless fuels their search for pleasure too.

    I've never seen Dexter.

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  17. I had a cocktail for early childhood trauma, trauma witnessed, and severe neglect. I was in the same boat, Zhawq, thinking my childhood was kind of normal (besides all the moving) until I actually started talking about it with people.

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  18. Whats the difference? One man's evil is another's entertainment. It's all about the ratings dude.

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  19. People have a hard time connecting to other people realistically so they create fictions that conform to what they wish to believe or suit the time allotted to be conclusively informed.

    Surely every one of us simultaneously embodies the states of being a forever-blank canvas and a perpetual projection machine?

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  20. Would you feel bad if you killed a person note?

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  21. AMoralbing, has given some interesting thoughts to the human/machine intelligence intersect.

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  22. "Surely every one of us simultaneously embodies the states of being a forever-blank canvas and a perpetual projection machine?"

    I'm more inclined to think so at this point because the opposite of which, being the notion that there's a grand irrefutable plan in which all of us has a purpose apart from seeking pleasure, avoiding pain and procreating more such beings, is simply too untenable for my level of intelligence.

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  23. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hon3AzMO6vs

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  24. The [psychopath] is unfamiliar with the primary facts or data of what might be called personal values and is altogether incapable of understanding such matters. It is impossible for him to take even a slight interest in the tragedy or joy or the striving of humanity as presented in serious literature or art. He is also indifferent to all these matters in life itself. Beauty and ugliness, except in a very superficial sense, goodness, evil, love, horror, and humour have no actual meaning, no power to move him. He is, furthermore, lacking in the ability to see that others are moved. It is as though he were colour-blind, despite his sharp intelligence, to this aspect of human existence. It cannot be explained to him because there is nothing in his orbit of awareness that can bridge the gap with comparison. He can repeat the words and say glibly that he understands, and there is no way for him to realize that he does not understand (Cleckley, 1941, p. 90 quoted in Hare, 1993, pp. 27-28).

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  25. Nice video. The tv series Most Evil expands deeply on this topic.

    It dissects the lives and biology of the main serial killers that were briefly mentioned in this youtube video.

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  26. No, anon. I wouldn't.

    Color-blindness. I like that analogy. You can see something, but you can't see its true form, can't truly know it. You just know it's there sometimes, and others it mixes in with the surroundings to be obscured.

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  27. "What is this 'brain' you speak of? I do not know what it is like to have one so I cannot comment."

    just work with what you have.

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  28. Anon 8:37:

    People have a hard time admitting that evil exists

    In a basically atheist society you can't blame them.

    After all, Evil is a point of view. It is what you make it. If you feel a need to call a minority evil because you feel weak and can't explain things otherwise, then I guess sociopaths and psychopaths are the ideal 'evil'.

    It's still a point of view, though.

    You see the same pattern in naive people.

    If you really want to talk about something that is destructive - directly or indirectly - ignorance, weakness and stupidity would be closer to the truth.


    Zeric:

    It is only absolutist morality that forces the suppression and sublimation of our primal instincts.

    Zeric, I like you!... '^L^,

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  29. Why thank you, Zhawq. Flattery will get you...nowhere.

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  30. Most evil? It's the most un accurate show I've seen, the guy doctor stone doesn't know what he is talking about, he says the obvious over and over, he offers no good insight, the show is full of lies also.

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  31. trippy i ended up back in time. no more wine for me

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