The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain

The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain


By (author) James H. Fallon

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  • Publisher: Current
  • Format: Hardback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 232mm x 32mm | 400g
  • Publication date: 18 December 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1591846005
  • ISBN 13: 9781591846000
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, figures
  • Sales rank: 56,520

Product description

The memoir of a neuroscientist whose research led him to a bizarre personal discovery James Fallon had spent an entire career studying how our brains affect our behavior when his research suddenly turned personal. While studying brain scans of several family members, he discovered that one perfectly matched a pattern he'd found in the brains of serial killers. This meant one of two things: Either his family's scans had been mixed up with those of felons or someone in his family was a psychopath. Even more disturbing: The scan in question was his own. This is Fallon's account of coming to grips with this discovery and its implications. How could he, a happy family man who had never been prone to violence, be a psychopath? How much did his biology influence his behavior? Fallon shares his journey to answer these questions and the discoveries that ultimately led to his conclusion: Despite everything science can teach, humans are even more complex than we can imagine.

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Author information

James Fallon is an award-winning neuroscientist and the Sloan, Fulbright, and National Institutes of Health Scholar at the University of California, Irvine. His start-up company, NeuroRepair, was voted the top new biotech firm of the year and has engineered major breakthroughs in stem-cell research. He has been married for forty-two years and has three children.

Review quote

""The Psychopath Inside "is a deeply compelling personal story of an eminent scien-tist's discovery of his own psychopathy. Jim Fallon confesses the sins of his biology and in doing so receives the absolution of being human. I couldn't put it down." --PAUL J. ZAK, PhD, author of "The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity" "As comprehensive as it is compelling, essential reading for understanding the genetic and neuroscience underpinnings of psychopathy." --M. E. THOMAS, author of "Confessions of a Sociopath" "Just the word 'psychopath' is enough to grab anyone's attention and it has inspired numerous TV shows and films for many decades. In truth, I believe the word itself does little to wrap its arms around the infinite behavioral traits psychopaths pos-sess, for "good "and bad. Fallon lets us inside his mind as he takes us on a deftly woven journey, breaking down every convention of psychopathic behavior." --SIMON MIRREN, former executive producer of "Criminal Minds" "In a thought-provoking account of self-exploration, Fallon puts himself 'under the microscope' in an attempt to make sense of how his own biological and developmental history has shaped his life. His perspective on psychopathy pushes us to consider the important roles of nature and nurture, and the fine line between adaptive and mal-adaptive personality traits." --JOHN F. EDENS, PhD, professor of psychology, director of clinical training, and Cornerstone Faculty Fellow, College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University "An intriguing look into the dark side of the brain. A must-read for anyone curious about why our brains think our darkest thoughts and how many of us go into states of psychosis without even realizing it. Dr. Fallon's study of my own brain helped me come to terms with my strangest ideas and why I function the way I do. Few people understand the brain as well as Dr. Fallon, and can write about it in such a fun and engaging way. A f