Michael Brands/TED / Michael Brands
Jim Fallon's work analyzing the brains of psychopaths lead to a surprising personal discovery.
Jim Fallon's work analyzing the brains of psychopaths lead to a surprising personal discovery. Michael Brands/TED / Michael Brands
Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Violence Within Us.
About Jim Fallon's TEDTalk
Psychopathic killers are the basis for some must-watch TV, but what really makes them tick? Neuroscientist Jim Fallon talks about brain scans and genetic analysis that may uncover the rotten wiring in the nature (and nurture) of murderers. In a too-strange-for-fiction twist, he shares a fascinating family history that makes his work chillingly personal.
About Jim Fallon
Jim Fallon, professor of neuroscience at the University of California, Irvine, looks at the way nature and nurture intermingle to wire up the human brain. Through his research, Fallon explores the way genetic and in-utero environmental factors affect the way the brain gets built — and then how individuals' experience further shapes its development. He lectures and writes on creativity, consciousness and culture, and has made key contributions to our understanding of schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Fallon has turned his research toward the subject of psychopaths — particularly those who kill. With PET scans and EEGs, he's beginning to uncover the deep, underlying traits that make people violent and murderous.