Friday, April 14, 2017

**5 Things You Thought You Knew About Your Brain

Now a days, there are many random facts that fly around people's ears, and some we catch. We like to have these facts remember, awaiting the day that they could come in handy. It has also become a very normal thing to believe the things you hear or read, and to reiterate them to others who might be unsure about the topic. But have you ever thought about them not being true? Here are the top 5 myths about the brain you most likely believed were true, and have passed on to others.

I know this may seem very surprising and wrong, but believe me when I say this; you use 100% of your brain. For some reason is has become a very commonly know fact that people use 10% of their brain, but that's wrong. There isn't an activity or certain time when your brain only uses 10%. You use 100% of your brain all the time, including when your sleep. Although one part may be working harder during a certain activity, all parts are in use.

This next popular myth is one that you won’t believe is false. If I was to ask you how many senses you had, your answer would be 5, correct? And I’m sure if you had to list them out you would say the normal answer of touch, smell, taste, hear, and sight; but what if that wasn’t all of them? Well that's not even close to all of our senses. There have been many researchers who believe there to be 21 or even more senses. You have senses that you probably didn't even realize we're senses. That includes things like sense of balance, sense of temperature, sense of hunger, sense of times, and even your sense of tension.

A third common myth is that drinking kills brain cells. It is true that you can damage your brain from drinking a large amount, but to actually kill brain cells the person would actually have to die. There are also brain disorders that can come from drinking an excessive amount of alcohol; but drinking moderately won’t harm your brain, as long as you are responsible.

Another false fact about your brain is that people who use drugs can get holes in their brain. No drugs have ever been proven to actually create holes in a human's brain. The only known way to create a hole in your brain would be physical trauma. Drugs just use chemicals to make your brain feel extra good ad that eventually leads to the dependance on drugs for happiness.

The fifth misleading myth about the brain is the bigger your brain, the smarter you are. Size actually has no effect on IQ. Otherwise, blue whales and their 6,000lb brain would have taken over the world long ago. There is also no such thing as a left brained or right brained person; nor does that affect someone's personality. We are all full brained.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

**Why are Serial Killers Serial Killers?

In the article “The Making of a Serial Killer” by Berit Brogaard, she discusses the mind of a serial killer. At the beginning she mention that nobody truly knows how a serial killer becomes a serial killer; which I think is an important fact to remember. She then goes on to talk about the possibility of serial killers having it in their DNA, that some people could just have it in their DNA. The problem with the experiments on the DNA and brain are that not all psychopaths are criminals. This means that this brain abnormality could just cause aggressiveness or manipulative traits. It also could just be because of mental ailments such as schizophrenia and extreme sexual fetishes. They have thought about childhood abuse being the cause of serial killers, but that's not it either. Yes, childhood abuse could cause post traumatic stress syndrome or anxiety, but they claim it can’t lead to psychopathy. There is a connection between childhood abuse and serial killers, but the list of serial killers who grew up with a normal childhood is very long. This means that there must be something that starts these people down this path. They mentioned that if it was a brain abnormality, then could it be corrected?

Many people are unable to understand social cues or know when enough is enough; maybe these serial killers were never taught these things as kids. Maybe their parents weren't paying enough attention to them and not helping them understand that some things weren't okay to do. Maybe these people are psychotic and not psychopaths. The difference is that psychopaths have a disorder within their own personality whereas psychotic people are just people who have lost any sense of reality that they had. It's almost like they're on drugs and hallucinating. Then at the end of this article examples are given of these two different disorders. The stories for psychotic people are more about them listening to the voices in their heads and doing things for crazy unrealistic reasons. But stories of psychopaths killing are planned, and well thought out. They know just what they're doing and how to do it so they can get exactly what they want.

I think that it is very possible that psychopaths are this way because of their childhoods. I believe as a child you are very susceptible of things you see and hear around you. If your parents aren't giving you the attention and proper guidance you need then you are left to think whatever you want about whoever. They are unable to know the difference between something bad to do, and something that's okay. Without the proper social interactions they can't learn how to be compassionate, or even feel guilty for doing something wrong. As for the psychotic, I believe that there is a chemical imbalance or some kind of abnormality in the brain. Maybe they have a mental illness or it was caused by drugs, but they don't have a normal mind. I believe that serial killers are smart and educated people, and it's terrifying to know there's people out there who are capable of doing these things.

Serial Killer Statistics

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This infographic compares motives and methods between male and female serial killers. It seems that 80% of females killers use poison as their method with the reason being money 72% of the time. I’m thinking that women use poison more because it's easier than having to take someone down, especially if they're just trying to steal money. Males are much more likely to use firearms as their weapon of choice. I think men like to use firearms because it is an easy way for them to manipulate people with them being alive and conscious, which makes sense with their motive being sex 55% of the time. Men also use suffocation, stabbing, and bludgeoning(beating to death) much more than women. I think this may be because women are much more vulnerable and typically weaker than men. This makes it easy for them to physically take and hurt them. Women are more likely to bludgeon or shoot their victim rather than stab or suffocate them. Drowning is a much smaller method than the rest, but women are much more likely to do it than men. To be more specific, they are nearly 2 times more likely to kill their victim by suffocation.

This shows some interesting differences between male and female serial killers. It seems as though men prefer to feel power when killing. It also seems as though they enjoy the crime scene with blood and horrific images; which is very different from women killers. They seem to like and keep things simple and discreet when getting what they want. They seem to not be into the messy part of killing’ but instead the part where they don’t have to truly do anything. You are able to see obvious differences here. These differences between sexes make it easier when finding killers also. Police and detectives are able to make an educated decision on the sex of a killer based on these methods and motives.

This infographic above shows the relationship between child abuse and serial killers. It gives visual examples as to the connection between the two. It seems as though the majority of abused children end up going down this harsh path. Children of physical abuse are 7 times more likely to become serial killers. Kids who are sexual abused also have a high rate to take the path of a killer. In the 3rd row over you can see that when it comes to psychological abuse, the amount of serial killers grow. Psychological abuse leads to 50% of all serial killers. I think this might be because these kids have learned first hand how to manipulate people. After they’ve experienced that pain and hurt, they want to feel the other side of it; the side when they feel the power. When a child experiences neglect it seems they have an equal chance of becoming a serial killer as they do becoming a normal human being. Children who experience no abuse are obviously more likely to follow a path of love and life. You can see in this graph that when kids are abused, they are much more likely to abuse and hurt others.