Serial Killers: A Different Brain

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Serial killers have captivated the attention of scientists from the first signs of their existence to modern day. Interested by these killers’ inhumane actions, researchers set out to determine the cause of such graphic, horrific crimes. The brain has been brought into question regarding the motivation of these cold blooded killers. After extensive research, abnormalities of both the chemical composition and material makeup have been identified within the brains of numerous serial killers. These differences are more than mere coincidence, they are evidence that killers do not think in the same way. The killers’ drives and motives are irregular, just as their brains are. Not only are these variations interesting, but they are also crucial to the justice system in regards to the punishment of past, future, and present sequential murderers. It is important that as a society we learn the differences in the mind of a killer, and also recognize and understand them. A serial killer’s brain greatly differs in function from the average citizen’s brain due to physical variations in the brain and a different chemical makeup. The brain is arguably the most complex part of a human being and is linked to motivations, feelings, and actions. Therefore, when actions of individuals differ from “normal” actions, the brain is brought into question. Repeat killers commit actions that are not “normal” when compared to the general public and therefore research on their brains has been conducted. When comparing scans of everyday citizens’ brains as opposed to the brain of a convicted serial killer, the differences are clear. The two scans differ widely with the prefrontal gray matter of the average person’s, dwarfing that of the murderer’s (Adams). Pr... ... middle of paper ... ...lack of serotonin is a known chemical difference within the mind and body of serial killers. It is also crucial to consider the genetic makeup of these killers when trying to decipher their motives. New research shows a potential link between a strand of genes and aggression and violence (Bradley-Hagerty). The MAO-A gene or (monoamine oxidase A) has been researched extensively. The gene is often referred to as the “warrior gene” (Bradley-Hagerty). The function of this gene is to regulate serotonin in the brain. However, there are different variations of the gene, one of which is believed to prevent the brain from feeling the relaxing effects of the serotonin (Bradley- Hagerty). Without these calming effects, the person with this version of the gene is genetically predisposed to fits of rage; fits of rage that could potentially lead to murder over and over again.

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