The brain detective | January 25, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 25, 2019

The brain detective

Stanford neuropathologist seeks the root causes of suspicious deaths, criminal behaviors

by Sue Dremann

On a cool afternoon in December 2017 at Stanford University Medical Center, neuropathologist Dr. Hannes Vogel found himself face to face with the gunshot-torn brain of a killer.

This story contains 1929 words.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at sdremann@paweekly.com.

Comments

20 people like this
Posted by An Ounce of Prevention
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 27, 2019 at 1:47 pm

I've read somewhere that many sociopaths have unusual shaped heads which probably indicates an unusual shaped brain and/or unusual personality. Many also have unusual facial expressions as well.

Based on these cited scientific observations, many crimes could probably be prevented by profiling such abnormalities and subjecting certain individuals for further testing.

It should all be voluntary of course as we do not wish to be operating a police state.

On the other hand, some individuals should not be allowed to walk the streets as many could be walking time bombs based on their brain chemistry and shape.


14 people like this
Posted by a race to the bottom
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 27, 2019 at 2:37 pm

>> unusual shaped heads which probably indicates ...
>> some individuals should not be allowed to walk the streets as many could be walking time bombs based on their brain chemistry and shape ...

How young are you? Suggestion - start with a history book or two before the pseudo-science. Maybe 1930's Germany, though there is plenty to study from the 1800's, including our very own slavery apologists in the traitorous confederate states.


24 people like this
Posted by Head Case Science
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 27, 2019 at 2:48 pm

> I've read somewhere that many sociopaths have unusual shaped heads...

You are referring to Phrenology. [Portion removed.]

Craniometry involves the study of head shapes and their relation to criminal types.

Both sciences have been called into question at times due to their pinpointing of certain ethnicities.

[Portion removed.]


34 people like this
Posted by a race to the bottom
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 27, 2019 at 3:31 pm

>> Both sciences have been called into question at times due to their pinpointing of certain ethnicities

LMFTFY

Both sciences have been called into question .. due to their .. lack of evidence.


18 people like this
Posted by Sieg Heil, Baby!
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 27, 2019 at 5:32 pm

So it's skull shape that determines a propensity for criminal activity...?

Gee, never heard about that being the case with all of those young white male mass shooters...


20 people like this
Posted by Physiology Major
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 27, 2019 at 5:45 pm

[Post removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by a race to the bottom
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 27, 2019 at 5:49 pm

[Post removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by Protect Society & Be Safe Out There
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2019 at 5:58 pm

[Post removed.]


26 people like this
Posted by Sieg Heil, Baby!
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 27, 2019 at 6:13 pm

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Physiology Major
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 27, 2019 at 6:33 pm

Like football related head injuries, the actual underlying factors to certain forms of destructive self and societal behavior only become clearer with post-mortem analysis.

Kudos to Dr. Vogel for attempting to get to the bottom of this mystery.

On the other hand, some individuals are born with cranial and/or brain imperfections that lead to anti-social behavior. These are the ones that need to be weeded out...not necessarily incarcerated or institutionalized but keeping a watchful eye on.

[Portion removed.]








Like this comment
Posted by a race to the bottom
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 27, 2019 at 6:57 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Running In Circles
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 27, 2019 at 10:04 pm

from the PA Weekly article...
"In the end, all of Vogel's sophisticated forensic tests, his years of experience and his intuition could not shed light on what led Paddock to commit his terrorist act.

What a waste of time...nothing accomplished or conclusive.




4 people like this
Posted by Sieg Heil, Baby!
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 27, 2019 at 10:14 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Running In Circles
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 27, 2019 at 10:18 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 28, 2019 at 2:12 am

Interesting and well written article, Sue.
Comment section, not so much.


8 people like this
Posted by Larry English
a resident of Los Altos
on Jan 28, 2019 at 7:28 pm

"What a waste of time...nothing accomplished or conclusive."

Not so, for at least a couple of reasons.
First, the investigation ruled out a large class of possible reasons for Paddock's extreme behavior, which was what the request was all about. So, something conclusive was accomplished, though not to everyone's personal desires.
Second, small pieces of information, not yet fully understood given the limited sample (of 1), which will be of use to further research were uncovered. Again, something accomplished, though of low dramatic value to those outside that fascinating research arena.
And one more thing: Sue Dremann is a gem - excellent work.


2 people like this
Posted by Larry English
a resident of Los Altos
on Jan 28, 2019 at 7:47 pm

Physiology Major wrote:

"Like football related head injuries, the actual underlying factors to certain forms of destructive self and societal behavior only become clearer with post-mortem analysis."
... No. For example, brain scans and existing autopsies together can give good indications of the relation between indicators (decision processes, unusual or eccentric behavior) and extreme destructive actions. Post-mortem analysis is a critical, but not the only, means of making it clearer.

"On the other hand, some individuals are born with cranial and/or brain imperfections that lead to anti-social behavior. These are the ones that need to be weeded out...not necessarily incarcerated or institutionalized but keeping a watchful eye on."
... How? Why? By whom? No, but in all likelihood, anyone having been diagnosed with such "imperfections" will be under the "watchful eye" of professionals. If not, we are denying the "equal protection under the law" of those people as well as those fearful of them.



Like this comment
Posted by Those Eyes
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2019 at 8:21 pm

I don't pay too much attention to head shapes and/or correlate them with any particular type of behavior BUT, I have noticed that people whose eyes are noticeably close together tend to be weird, irritating individuals regardless of their gender.


Like this comment
Posted by Eyes Only
a resident of Los Altos
on Jan 29, 2019 at 8:50 pm

C'mon, Those Eyes, my eyes are NOT too close together, nor am I irritating and -- OK, maybe a little weird. However, I think I'll start a register of all Bay Area persons with eye placement fetishes - you know - just in case.

Thanks for the chuckle ... but I've got my eye(s) on ya ...

Larry English


6 people like this
Posted by alum
a resident of another community
on Mar 1, 2019 at 7:36 am

Brain tumors etc. as cause of mass shootings? Are those with brain tumors typically about 95% male and only 5% female? Are those with brain abnormalities or declining "inhibition" or mental diseases generally about 95% male and only about 5% female? Clearly not. The FBI stats referenced in this article show that by far the best demographic 'predictor' of being a mass-shooter is male gender i.e. about 96% are males. Declining "inhibition" as a result of brain deterioration apparently does not lead as many females to act out as mass shooters (as opposed to other types of uninhibited behaviors).

Instead of spending so much time and money looking for tumors or other brain abnormalities in the very violent, how about more time and money addressing the socialization behind so many males' very violent behavior.


Like this comment
Posted by Brain Reality
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 1, 2019 at 8:34 am

> Brain tumors etc. as cause of mass shootings? Are those with brain tumors typically about 95% male and only 5% female? Are those with brain abnormalities or declining "inhibition" or mental diseases generally about 95% male and only about 5% female? Clearly not.

> how about more time and money addressing the socialization behind so many males' very violent behavior.


Good points, This doctor is full of horse feathers. Unbridled testosterone levels & anger management issues are also responsible for these mass shootings.



Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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