Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan
Psikiyatrist

To be Born a Murderer

Could those, who are born with aggressiveness and violence-related genes, have more potential to become a murderer or to go psychopath? To what extent can a biological disposition of a person make them inclined to violence and aggressiveness?

Known for his studies on the field of neuroscience, Jim Fallon, while searching for what’s going on in the minds of psychopaths through brain activities and genes, determined a deficiency in the orbital cortex of the psychopath murderers as he was analyzing the fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) images of these people. Orbital cortex is a brain area, which is considered to be associated with our moral and social behaviors, and apparently it was much more different in psychopath murderers than that of normal individuals. Could psychopaths be individuals with violent tendencies because they have bad brains?

The Point where it Gets Complicated

Fallon, who conducted another study over Alzheimer’s patients simultaneously with the one he carried out with psychopath killers, convinced some people from his own family in order to compare the findings of healthy individuals to the brain and gene structures of Alzheimer’s patients. Sitting at the table to compare the brain scans, Fallon recognized that the brain scans of all family members have the expected results, but only one of them had an unexpected result. Jim’s own brain scan weirdly had this orbital cortex deficiency, which he detected in the psychopaths in other studies of his. This being the case, Jim asked himself this question: But why am i not a psychopath?

Successive Confusions

As Jim was jokingly telling about this situation, which he found strange, during a family meeting by expressing his surprise, Jenny, his mother, suggested his son do a little research about the background of his family. Following the research that he made upon his mother’s suggestions, Jim found out that one of his ancestors named Thomas Cornell was the perpetrator of the first mother murdering incident ever recorded in the USA in 1667. In addition, there were seven other murderers among his ancestors Jim directly inherits from. Being terrified after these researches, Jim expanded his researches about him carrying the same biological infrastructures with psychopath murderers, and he took a look at his blood analysis. Jim’s blood sample was revealing findings that were similar to the ones he saw in the brain scans. His blood values showed positive for the warrior gene.

Biological Dispositions

Under the light of the biological findings, Jim was of a structure to be a psychopath or a murderer, yet he was a scientist who had nothing to do with being a psychopath. This strange situation forced Jim to assess his opinions regarding the genetic deterministic (the idea claiming that how a person will be is mostly determined by the genes) idea, and Jim accepted that it was the way he was raised and the environmental conditions that prevented him from being a psychopath murderer.

As a Result

It can be said that each and every human is born with specific biologically-apparent characteristics, but the environments we grow up in prevent us from being pure biological creatures. Under the light of this information, it is understood that the construction of a creature should also not overlook the importance of the conditions of a human’s social circles, as we attach importance on what a human carries in their genes.

REFERENCES:
The Self Illusion – Bruce Hood

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