Inside the Mind of a Psychopathic Killer with James Fallon

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What happens when a prominent neuroscientist finds out there is something wrong with his own brain? In this episode we explore the shocking discovery that our guest made when he realized, after years of studying the brains of psychopaths, that he had the exact same brain structure. We unwind the twisted narrative and the wild conclusions that come from his riveting discovery - and much more - with our guest Dr. James Fallon.
Dr. James Fallon is a Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UC Irvine and internationally renowned neurobiologist. He is the author of the best-seller The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey into the Dark Side of The Brain. Fallon has lectured worldwide on neurolaw and the brains of psychopathic killers and dictators. His work has been featured on NPR, CBS, ABC, and numerous science specials.
  • A neuroscientist studying the brains and brain scans of muderers and psychopathic killers discovers something truly shocking
  • Studying and analyzing the brains of killers - Dr. Fallon found a surprising pattern of what the brain of a psychopath looks like
  • From studying the genes of Alzheimers patients - Dr. Fallon started uncovering the genetic links to brain structures of psychopaths and sociopaths
  • Adult Stem Cells in your brain can be activated to reverse serious brain conditions
  • Real life Criminal Minds - inside the brain of serial killers and psychopaths
  • What it’s like to discover that you’re a psychopath
  • What are epigenetics? Why don’t all genes express themselves?
  • What’s the “junk DNA” in your cells and what does it do?
  • One of the major things that triggers the expression of certain genes is stress and abuse, especially at a young age (between birth and 3 years old)
  • Most serial killers were not only psychopaths, but also typically had serious damage to their brains as well
  • Smart psychopaths are very hard to catch and very hard to spot
  • For an everyday person, how do you determine that someone is a psychopath or has psychopathic tendencies?
  • What are the typical signs of psychopathy / narcissistic personality disorder?
    • The use a lot of personal pronouns, more than an average person talking
    • Their hands often move up higher and higher above their heads
    • They will talk very graphically about their own sex life, or their own body, etc
    • They are very glib, they are very slick verbally, and know what to say
    • They often seem very intelligent
    • They are often over confident
    • They are often very competent and aggressive
    • They might seem too interested or care too much about you and your emotions
    • Their conversations always seem like a performance
  • Some of the most dangerous aspects of psychopathy are pro-social psychopaths who know how to navigate society
  • Many of the pro-social traits of psychopaths are often overlapping with the major pro-social traits of psychopathy
  • Psychopaths are always looking for what bothers you emotionally, and then they want to use it against you to manipulate you
  • What’s the best way to defend yourself from a psychopath manipulating you?

172 episodes available. A new episode about every 7 days averaging 54 mins duration .