The neuroscientist who knows the most about Putin’s brain spoke: is he a psychopath?

Vladimir Putin (REUTERS)

the neuroscientist James FallonProfessor of Psychiatry, Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of California, has spent a decade analyzing the Russian head of state, and in an interview with The mail assured that has identified in Putin most of the traits that define a psychopath.

“Putin has a terrible past as an illegitimate child that at least three sources have revealed to me, he was routinely bullied from a very young age and even sexually abused. Hence that somewhat twisted sexuality,” Fallon said..

For Fallon, Ukraine is suffering the consequences of the abuses suffered by the Russian in his childhood: “Definitely. The man is settling accounts with the world for what he suffered as a child. Now he is the bully. And bullies, like psychopaths, need victims. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, a pacifist, was the perfect victim for Hitler. “Let’s use diplomatic channels and we’ll convince him,” he said. But before a predator you cannot show weakness. He crushes you. And now Joe Biden is the perfect rival in Putin’s eyes.”

Fallon believes that Putin was recruited by the KGB precisely because he was a victim of abuse: “People like this abound in espionage and terrorist organizations, even if they are not psychopaths.” However, he details that being bullied or abused in childhood is a risk factor, but a genetic potential is also needed to become a psychopath. Contrary to what Rousseau said, man is not good by nature. The brain is not a blank slate.

“We are all born with a set of alleles inherited from your mother and father that combine in you randomly and cause you to end up with genes associated with certain behaviors. Three quarters of the population inherit genes not associated with extreme aggressiveness, low emotional empathy, violence… ”, she explains. And he continues: “In the end only seven percent develop a personality disorder related to predation among members of our species. And these are responsible for most of the crimes that are committed. Half of the people who are in prison, in fact, are psychopaths. And they have no remedy, by the way ”.

James Fallon, Professor of Psychiatry, Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of California
James Fallon, Professor of Psychiatry, Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of California

The neuroscientist assures that even when someone inherits a whole group of genes that place them in a high-risk position, the tragic outcome is triggered if they abandon or abuse you at an early age. “Faced with this tremendous stress, a child’s brain releases cortisol from the adrenal gland. Normally it is a protective mechanism, but if you have inherited a certain set of alleles, cortisol goes to the areas of the brain that regulate social activity and these are permanently disrupted.

The neuroscientist claims that Putin shares with other dictators the history of childhood trauma: “This is the common trigger that seems to have determined their conversion into psychopaths.” But there are more common traits, which he classifies as “typical”: “They are pathological, manipulative, emotionally superficial liars; they have a good memory, charisma, mastery of fear and anxiety (something fundamental for the psychopath); they are sadistic, hypersexual…”

And another curious thing about Putin: he is a kleptomaniac. She loves to keep things in street style, inherited from his youth on the streets of St. Petersburg. You know, ‘Hey, can I take a look at that?’ And she keeps it. This man lacks for nothing,” Fallon quips.

The neuroscientist explains that Putin belittled the Ukrainian president: “He thought he was just a TV comedian, but he was wrong. Everyone was wrong about him. In the United States we had Reagan. Actor. They didn’t take him seriously either and, look, he finished off the USSR and won the Cold War.”

Fallon also claims that Putin and his regime are the last link in a long chain of repression. “The dialectic is: ‘We do it for the good of our beloved Mother Russia.’ And this is something that, transmitted through generations, has produced epigenetic changes. African Americans, for example, continue to be marked by slavery and the continued marginalization and brutality of American society against them. Because of this, their tolerance for violence is higher than that of other social groups. Something similar happens with the Russians and with societies where violence and brutality have been dominant.

The specialist also gives credence to the rumors about his state of health: “I’ve been watching him for 12 years and I see him differently, as if he were receiving cancer therapy. That may be raising their levels of aggression.”


The neuroscientist who knows the most about Putin’s brain spoke: is he a psychopath?