A 58-year-old man who is an award-winning neuroscientist made a startling discovery nearly a decade ago when he found out that his brain scan showed that he’s a psychopath.
James Fallon, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at University of California at Irvine, made the startling discovery in 2005.
Fallon, a married man with three children, was going through thousands of brain scans as part of a research project on serial killers, according to Mail Online. At around the same time, he was also involved in an Alzheimer’s study as part of which he had done PET scans of his own brain and the brains of his family.
While checking the images in the Alzheimer’s project, he noticed one that was obviously pathological, showing low activity in parts of the brain responsible for empathy, morality and self-control – characteristics linked to criminal behavior.
“I got to the bottom of the stack, and saw this scan that was obviously pathological,” Fallon told Smithsonian Magazine.
He knew the scan belonged to a member of his family and when he looked up the code of the scan he found out that the brain seen on the scan was none other than his own.
Fallon has not hid from the truth and has even written a book about it, titled “The Psychopath Inside.”
“I’ve never killed anybody, or raped anyone,” Fallon said. “So the first thing I thought was that maybe my hypothesis was wrong, and that these brain areas are not reflective of psychopathy or murderous behavior.”
Further testing showed that Fallon had an innate predisposition for aggression, violence and low empathy. Although he does have difficulty feeling empathy for others, Fallon does not act on his aggressive tendencies.
Mail Online also reported that the revelation that Fallon had a lot in common with homicidal maniacs did not come as a complete surprise as he’s a distant relative of at least seven alleged murderers.