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A Neuroscientist Uncovers A Dark Secret

A Neuroscientist Uncovers A Dark Secret
First in a three-part series hide captionFallon with his wife, daughters and son. When he compared the brain scans of his family — including his wife, siblings, children and mother — his was the only one that resembled the brain of a pyschopath. Courtesy of Jim Fallon Fallon with his wife, daughters and son. When he compared the brain scans of his family — including his wife, siblings, children and mother — his was the only one that resembled the brain of a pyschopath. The criminal brain has always held a fascination for James Fallon. About four years ago, Fallon made a startling discovery. "I said, 'Jim, why don't you find out about your father's relatives?' Fallon investigated. "There's a whole lineage of very violent people — killers," he says. One of his direct great-grandfathers, Thomas Cornell, was hanged in 1667 for murdering his mother. A little spooked by his ancestry, Fallon set out to see whether anyone in his family possesses the brain of a serial killer. Fallon's Scans

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Scientists study serial killers to understand what lies behind their crimes They are fascinating and terrifying in equal measure, but for many people understanding what motivates serial killers to murder many times over can be difficult to grasp. Psychologists and neuroscientists are starting to build up a picture of the disturbing minds behind some of the most shocking crimes to have come to light in recent decades. They have discovered surprising similarities between these mass murderers and have even found evidence that suggests a genetic abnormality that may act as a trigger. While most people may be quick to dismiss serial killers as simply monsters, scientists are now attempting to understand what causes them to commit mass murder by studying their brains and their DNA.

Weird Wired Science Austrian physician Franz Joseph Gall sought to understand the mind of murderers and other criminals by feeling the outside of their skulls. This practice, which he first used in 1796, later came to be called Now largely discredited, it turned out that neither Gall nor anyone could systematically link the bumps and lumps on the head to any regular patterns of behavior, criminal or otherwise. Psychologists no longer need to use scalp massages as diagnostic tools. They can now look at what's happening inside the skull using one of several types of brain scans. The most successful of these methods is the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan, particularly the functional MRI (or fMRI). Patients are placed within a scanning device that causes nuclei within the cells to produce a rotating magnetic field detected by the scanner.

Autism and Neuropsychology, by Marisa Marzillo Autism is a lifelong disorder that has become the discussion of many media outlets; it is a disorder that causes abnormal neurological development. It seems that lately autism prevalence is increasing, which is causing a demand for professionals to investigate on what causes autism. Autism disorder is characterized by different behavior including social impairments, difficulty in communication, and restrictive patterns of behavior. Individuals living with autism don’t have a lower IQ than most people, but it is common that they have weak social interaction. Researchers have stated that it is unclear what causes autism; it ranges from environmental surroundings to a strain on normal brain development.

Brain waves can cut braking distances, researchers say 29 July 2011Last updated at 09:44 By Judith Burns Science reporter, BBC News Volunteers wearing EEG caps used a driving simulator Tapping into drivers' brain signals can cut braking distances and avoid car crashes, according to scientists. Chapter 12: Attention and Consciousness Attention involves top-down (voluntary) goal-directed processes and bottom-up (reflexive), stimulus-driven mechanisms. They influence the way information is processed in the brain and can occur early during sensory processing. Balint's syndrome is a visual attention and awareness deficit. Someone who has this syndrome can only perceive one object at a time.

Do serial killers have an extra chromosome? – Scientific Scribbles There is no such thing as a “killer gene”, but research is revealing genetic tendencies towards violent behaviour. Face of a serial killer. Photo Credit: Curtis John via Flickr [BY-ND-2.0], 2009. It’s a slippery, discreet mutation, after all we don’t see entire families of serial killers Gaslighting The term owes its origin to the play Gas Light and its film adaptations, after which it was coined popularly. The term has been used in clinical and research literature.[3][4] Etymology[edit]

Smart Guide to 2012: Mapping the human brain - health - 21 December 2011 The Human Connectome Project aims to map the large-scale connections of 1200 human brains and will start reporting data in late 2012 Read more: "Smart Guide 2012: 10 ideas you'll want to understand" Since the 19th century people have speculated that the essence of human identity is stored in the connections between our neurons. Today we have the technology to find out if this is true. Until now, most of what we know about the brain has been based on observations of what happens when different regions are damaged, or on imaging techniques like functional MRI that show which areas are active but tell you little about how they relate to one another. Not knowing how these different regions interact is like trying to work out how a telephone network works without knowing where all the wires go.

How Our Brains Make Memories Sitting at a sidewalk café in Montreal on a sunny morning, Karim Nader recalls the day eight years earlier when two planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. He lights a cigarette and waves his hands in the air to sketch the scene. At the time of the attack, Nader was a postdoctoral researcher at New York University.