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The Psychopath Inside

A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey Into the Dark Side of the Brain
Fallon, James H. (Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Psychopath Inside
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A compelling career memoir by an award-winning neuroscientist describes how while studying his own family's brain scans for research he made the disturbing discovery that his own reflected a pattern he recognized from those in the brains of serial killers, a finding that offered new insights into the role of biology in behavior.
Authors: Fallon, James H.
Title: The psychopath inside
a neuroscientist's personal journey into the dark side of the brain
Publisher: New York : Current, 2013.
Characteristics: viii, 246 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.
Contents: What is a psychopath?
Evil brewing
The brain of a killer
Bloodlines
A third leg to stand on
Going public
Love and other abstractions
A party in my brain
Can you change a psychopath?
Why do psychopaths exist?
Summary: A compelling career memoir by an award-winning neuroscientist describes how while studying his own family's brain scans for research he made the disturbing discovery that his own reflected a pattern he recognized from those in the brains of serial killers, a finding that offered new insights into the role of biology in behavior.
Local Note: 15 35 53 118 133 172 203 210 222 231 243
Master record variable field(s) change: 100, 505, 650 - Master record encoding level change WorldCat Holdings
ISBN: 1591846005
9781591846000
Statement of Responsibility: James Fallon
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 231-236) and index.
Subject Headings: Empathy. Serial murderers. Antisocial personality disorders. Neuropsychology. Brain Physiology. Psychopaths. Neurosciences Research. Fallon, James H.
Topical Term: Empathy.
Serial murderers.
Antisocial personality disorders.
Neuropsychology.
Brain
Psychopaths.
Neurosciences
LCCN: 2013431162
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Jun 07, 2014
  • smichal rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Really boring compared to some other books about psychopaths. At first was a lot of the brain biology - why spend pages explaining the 9 "Rubik's cube" sections instead of 3 diagrams? Then was about the author's realization that there are several criminals and killers in his family tree and that he himself has some symptoms of psychopathy. I don't get why his family sticks with him. He sounds like a real creep.

After reading almost all available books on psychopathy, I was counting down the days until I could get my hands on this book. I was extremely disappointed. Besides redundant information on neuroscience (if you have ever taken an Intro Psych course, you can skip a few entire chapters) - the book became more of a chance for Fallon to name-drop celebrities that he & his family know. He also is a fan of tooting his own horn, making sure the reader is well aware of how popular in the field he is, all his credentials, every place he's worked...good lord. Bland, boring...I stopped reading halfway through. If you are interested in neuroscience or psychopathy, almost any other book at BPL on those topics is more interesting than this one. Don't waste your time.

I heard a very interesting interview with Fallon. It was the first time I had heard of him or his book. One thing that occurred to me while listening to it is that I imagine very few people other than serial killers have the kind of brain scan that would reveal the typeof brain activity that Fallon says his revealed. At least, if most people have brain scans, it is not to look for such activity, nor are their scans examined by people who (like Fallon) would recognize such types of activity. So although every psychopath may show such signs, we don't know how many "normal" people may as well, simply because most people don't have their brains scanned or the results examined as his were. There is no "control group", in other words. Perhaps many more of us show such patterns as well, without our ever showing signs of psychopathy in our daily behaviour. He may address this question in the book in a way that he did not have time to in the interview.

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