20 March 2010 at 12:59 Leave a comment

In the category of it takes one to know one

It’s a lecture UC Irvine neuroscientist James Fallon has delivered around the world, even on the hit TV show “Criminal Minds.” Discussing the biological traits of murderers, Fallon describes how he correctly identified 30 killers out of 70 subjects in a double-blind experiment simply by studying their brain scans. Audiences are fascinated.

But a couple years ago, he got a call from a concerned citizen who’d watched a video of the talk: his mother.

“She said, ‘I see you’re going around lecturing about psychopathic killers,'” Fallon recalls. “‘You’re speaking as if you come from a normal family. Did you know there are murderers in our family tree?'”


Fallon compared eight family members’ DNA samples and brain scans with those of killers. The results, he says, proved “slightly embarrassing.” He had gone looking for a potential murderer — and found one in the mirror.

“The joke was on me,” he says. “It turned out I was the ruffian. I have the exact brain pattern of a psychopathic killer.”

Just fascinating.

Interesting to me is that one of the most awkward aspects of motherhood is that you can never do anything right.  That is to say, if you do it right, it goes unnoticed or is credited to the child’s innate personality.  But if you do it wrong, boy, does that ever get noticed.  But this is actually a case where a mother can actually know that she must have done something right, or her son would be a psychopath.

I’d call it heartwarming, even.


Entry filed under: huh, misanthropy.

yup, I’d agree The last homely house

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What I’ve been reading:

  • James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, L.L.D. (London, 14 King William Street, Strand: William P. Nimmo, 1876). 5 years ago
  • Marsilio Ficino, Letters of Marsilio Ficino, v. 3, trans. Language Dept. School of Economic Science, London (New York: Gingko Press, 1985). 5 years ago
  • Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988). 6 years ago
  • Stephanie Kallos, Broken for You (New York: Grove Press, 2004). 6 years ago
  • Marsilio Ficino, Letters of Marsilio Ficino, v. 2, trans. Language Dept. School of Economic Science, London (New York: Gingko Press, 1985) 6 years ago

T. Anderson Painter

I am a misanthrope. No one ever believes me, but this seems to prove my point.



2003-2013 T. Anderson Painter
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