Back in 2000 a report that was published in Science by Dr. Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin at Madison compared brain scans of more then five hundred people between those who were prone to violence and those who were considered to be normal. The study found that the brain images of those who had been convicted of a murder with aggressive or antisocial disorders showed distinct brain activity compared to those who were considered normal. If this study is correct then these murderers must have been born with an entirely different genetic makeup then that of those in the majority of the population who are not violent. These brain scans showed a relationship between the orbital frontal cortex, the anterior cingulated cortex, and the amygdale, which plays a large part in the control of negative and violent emotions. The orbital frontal cortex has been found to control and restrain the impulse of emotional outbursts, the anterior cingulated cortex was found to deal with responses to conflict, and the amygdale is known to control reactions to fear. When Davidson and his colleagues reviewed the brain images they found that brain activity in the orbital frontal cortex and the anterior cingulated cortex had diminished or was non existent compared to the amygdale which controls reactions to fear which stayed at the same activity level or went higher (Ramsland 35). Serial killers may be influenced by the culture that they are surrounded by, but those who can affect their thoughts do not have control over the reactions to ideas that are apart of our DNA. If it is possible to diagnose these genetic defects early, children can be treated and watched to make sure that the increase in emotional tendencies does not become uncontrollable causing them to hurt those around them. "We have accepted as proper for sociological study the environment external to the human person; perhaps we now should consider appropriate the environment internal to the person, not just the social psychological environment" (Jeffrey 88).


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