The Moth: Confessions of a Pro-Social Psychopath by James Fallon

Neuroscientist James Fallon is a self-styled “hobbit scientist.” The rules are simple: Don’t talk to the press and don’t go out of your area of expertise. But when a fascinating new brain scanner enters the lab, Fallon can’t resist. He ends up breaking both rules, and learns a lot more about himself than he bargained for.

Scientists, writers, and artists take to the stage to tell stories about their personal relationship to science. The result is a collection of poignant, hilarious and unpredictable tales sure to intrigue and surely hard to forget. Presented in collaboration with The Moth. Watch them all in The Moth at WSF Series.

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Jenna Parks
Jenna Parks

I think we're all psychopathic individuals even if brain scans reveal otherwise. One doesn't need an unhealthy brain scan to look around the world today and see that. As far as Mr. Fallon's brain scan revelation and the fact that he grew up in a very loving home, I have studied several other psychopaths who grew up with love and undying devotion and they decided to CHOOSE to go against that little voice of reason within their brain. I applaud Mr. Fallon simply because even for the ones who do show healthier brain scans and who've come from stellar backgrounds, it is an extremely difficult position to CHOOSE not to do certain things. I use to think that all psychopaths were going straight to hell and then I shifted to all psychopaths are going to heaven simply because "they couldn't help what they did" like say Ted Bundy...but then the more I thought of this I came to the conclusion that every single one of us save the person who has significant brain injury and who can not know the difference between right and wrong, have choices in this life and by virtue of their choices can choose the right path or the wrong path regardless of their psychopathy or whatever affliction they are suffering from. We are all accountable to what we do, say, and how we relate to others and THAT is the crux of human nature and whether or not we are right minded. I know a LOT of normal brained people who are immoral, cruel, evil people and when I read this post, I see that though Mr. Fallon has a difficult time with empathy, at least he's trying. Remember Paul in the bible had his issues...what they were, we will never know but perhaps the "thorn in his flesh" was similar to that of a psychopath...he did murder some people after all but he made recompense for it later and knew the difference between immoral acts and moral ones. In the end, he triumphed with God's help over those issues. After all, God's Grace is sufficient for anyone who accepts him and his son, Jesus. Thank God for that or we'd all be hell bound.