The brain of a serial killer…is a story about child abuse

brain

There are three interesting aspects of this infographic about the brains of serial killers:

  • The acknowledged link to high levels of childhood trauma.
  • That brain scans of psychopaths are similar to others who exhibit evidence of behaviors besides rage and violence, such as overeating, drinking too much, inappropriate sex and workaholism. Rage, violence and the other behaviors are all  coping skills to deal with childhood adversity.
  • That the experts mentioned in the infographic are coming around to the conclusions from epidemiological research in the CDC’s ACE Study, and from neurobiological research about the effects of toxic stress on children’s brains.

brain2You can find the entire infographic here. There’s one part that’s not accurate  – the concept of a warrior gene. Epigenetics research shows that the social environment turns our genes on and off, so any behavior is likely to be a result of an interplay among many genes and neurodevelopment.

And who put this infographic together? Bestcounselingdegrees.net. Really.

6 responses

  1. The much more interesting part of the infographic is the whopping one-third (32%) portion of serial killers with no reported background abuse. It’s easy enough to understand how the various kinds of abuse/mistreatment all comes together into the 68% proportion.

    • It is interesting. To that point, I’d like to know what questions were asked about child abuse and how it was defined. There are other types of trauma that damage children’s developing brains, including watching a mother or sibling being abused, witnessing violence outside the home, and being abandoned by or separated from one or both parents.

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