Talk about a weird day at the office.
Get this: A scientist in California spends almost two decades studying the brains of serial killers, looking for biological clues of what makes a murderer. After learning that several of his ancestors were murderers, the scientist decides to scan his own brain. He then discovers, da da da dun—that his brain exactly matches that of a psychopath.
No it’s not the leaked plot of an upcoming thriller; it’s what actually happened to Dr. James Fallon. He’d been studying serial killers’ minds for years but it wasn’t until a conversation with his mother revealed that Fallon had a heap of murderous ancestors in his family tree that he decided to scan his own brain.
Just how many murderers is Fallon related to? Eight alleged killers in all, including the infamous Lizzy Borden, who was accused of killing her father and stepmother in 1882. (Now I don’t know what your family is like, but eight’s a lot!)
And after doing the scan, Fallon discovered that the region of his brain that is believed to play a factor in “ethical behavior, moral decision-making and impulse control”–the orbital cortex–had very little activity.
What’s more, a scan of his genes revealed that Fallon has an aggressive form of a gene known as the “warrior gene.” Fallon himself admits that the evidence indicates he’s “a born killer.”
Now if this actually were a thriller, this is where Fallon would realize he couldn’t deny his nature and follow in the footsteps of his ancestors, wreaking havoc on a small, sleepy New England town.
Oh, wait he lives in California. Right. Well, luckily (for Fallon’s friends and loved ones) this is most definitely not a movie. Fallon’s wife, Diane, is the first to vouch for her husband’s lack of real life serial killer-ness. “I’ve known him since he was twelve,” she said. “I’ve lived to be ripe old age so far.”
What’s that line about famous last words? Kidding! (via NPR)