The brain of psychopathic killers

Wendy Peters

[audio:|titles=Fallon (Part 1)] [audio:|titles=FallonPart2]

As part of CSUN’s Richard W. Smith lecture series, Dr. James Fallon, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Irvine who studies the biological basis of human behavior lectured on the brains of psychopathic killers while revealing cases of murder in his own family, including his distant cousin, Lizzie Borden.

Fallon said the combination of brain damage, a set of genes related to violence and aggression and abuse before puberty are all factors that contribute to producing violent offenders, including psychopathic murderers. Fallon added that males present the greatest risk factor for becoming violent offenders and this is due in part to the way some aggression-related gene variants are passed from both the mother’s X chromosome and father’s Y chromosome to the sons in particular.