Sources for Story on the Mind of a Serial Killer

My first source is http://www.bestcounselingdegrees.net/serial-killer/ This is a long pictograph giving statistics, studies, etc. on serial killers. Some of the statistics show that men and white people are more likely to be a serial killer. This is credible because it quotes studies done by multiple scientists. My second source is http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-superhuman-mind/201212/the-making-serial-killer  This is and article explaining the mind of a serial killer. Why they become one, what goes through their mind when they are about to/are killing someone. This is credible because it is written by someone with a Phd in the field the story is in. My third source is going to be a professor is Forensic Psychology. I would interview them, to get information about the mind of a serial killer.  This is a credible source because they are trained in the field of forensic psychology, which appertains to serial killer minds.

-MyChalia Sanfilippo

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Is a Serial Killer Born or Made?

What compels a serial killer to be a serial killer? Are they born or made? What makes them a serial killer? What might make one person more susceptible to becoming a serial killer than another? According to 10 Most Common Traits of Potential Serial Killers by Hestie Barnard Gerber, there are ten characteristics of serial killers. Some are more common than others. One killer may not have them all, while another has every single one of them. It varies from killer to killer.
The first set of characteristics have something to do with abuse. Like exposure to alcohol and substance abuse. The killer may not be addicted themselves but someone around could be, or they could have been exposed in the womb. Some effects of being exposed in the womb are fetal alcohol syndrome, retardation, and central nervous issues are some of the problems the person could face if they survive coming out of the womb. While being open to the abuse in the womb is bad growing up around it is worse. The child could face many psychological problems, such as depression, APD, and ADHD. An FBI study shows that more than 70% of serial killers faced alcohol and substance abuse in the home. Or psychological abuse during childhood. According to serials killers interviewed, the form of abuse that 50% faced was emotional abuse and neglect. Often being humiliated, the child would face severe punishments such as being beaten as their form of discipline. The severe disciplining would cause desensitizing in the child, relieving them from a world where love, compassion, and empathy are normal, rather than a life of isolation. The emotional abuse damages the self-esteem, causing them to not be able to function correctly in life, which is why we see that most serial killers couldn’t hold a job for that long. Other abuse is sexually stressful events in childhood. More than one killer was forced to dress up as a girl as punishment. Witnessing sexual abuse on family members, such as a parent had the most damaging effect. Other causes could be contracting a venereal diseases as teenagers, or were sexually assaulted (more often by family).These experiences could create violent fantasies as adults.

You can read about the other characteristics in the article, linked above.

Do you have any of these characteristics?

-MyChalia Sanfilippo

Victoria’s Current Event Post

I’m researching how babies learn quickly in their sleep. I read an article “Even Sleeping Babies Learn Quickly” by Charles Q. Choi from that described their experiment on sleeping newborn babies listening to musical tones followed by a puff of air. Later in their experiment they saw that the babies learned that they could expect a puff of air after the musical tone. They noticed this when the babies squeezed their eyes after the musical tone went off, before the puff of air. Showing the researchers that the babies had learned to expect the puff of air and they adapted to that area they were sleeping in. With the experiment, they had mind sensors on the infants’ faces and scalps to monitor their brain waves. After the experiment it showed an increase in the infants’ memory. In their past researching it showed that brains of sleeping infants were frequent with activity in the areas including visual, motor and auditory processing.

ADHD Drugs Aiding Overacheiving Students

A recent article on the New Yorker focus on the increased use of ADHD medications, such as Adderall which improve long-term focus and concentration, among college students trying to maintain their grades without sacrifice their social lives. This phenomena is particularly prevalent among male students at prestigious northeastern colleges and universities. Products of a generation with more ADHD diagnoses than ever before, students are quick to overlook the serious side effects and long lasting consequences of these drugs. Serious cardiac problems have been known to stem from use of ADHD drugs. These medications are also very addicting, and can cause serious personality changes. They have seen so many of their peers have success on these medications and fail to realize the careful monitoring that goes on behind closed doors. It is relatively easy for students to obtain these drugs. Some will visit a counselor describing classic symptoms of ADHD and get a prescription, while others buy them from various dealers inevitably stationed around campus. The article touches upon the growing issues of over-diagnosis, the pressures leading students to taking these drugs, and sales of prescription drugs on college campuses.

To read the article click here: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/04/27/090427fa_fact_talbot?currentPage=all

what happens to your brain when you get stressed? by Giana

The main thing that can happen to your brain when you get stressed is your brain becoming smaller. There are three areas of the brain the amygdala the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex the three areas of the brain work together with the hypothalamus (a part of the forebrain below the thalamus that organizes the automatic nervous system and the activity of the pituitary controlling your body temperature your thirst your huger and your other systems that are involved in sleep and other daily routines/activity’s)to turn on and off the making of stress hormones and increased heart rate, brains can also be affected by stress alone. stress is a very common cause of changes in your brains functioning recent studies showed signs of how this can occur, One study used baby monkeys to test the effects of stress on their development and long-term mental health. Half the monkeys were cared for by their peers for 6 months while the other half remained with their mothers. Afterwards, the monkeys were returned to social groups for several months before the researchers scanned their brains.For the monkeys who had been removed from their mothers and cared for by others , areas of their brains related to stress were still enlarged, even after being in normal social conditions for several months. it’s pretty scary to think that prolonged stress could affect our brains long-term.

Another study found that in rats who were exposed to chronic stress, the hippocampuses actually shrank. The hippocampus is integral to forming memories. It has been debated before whether Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can actually shrink the hippocampus, or people with naturally smaller hippocampuses are just more prone to PTSD. stress is a factor in changing the brain.

website:
http://blog.bufferapp.com/the-science-of-stress-how-its-breaking-down-your-body

Renew: Stress on the Brain

stressresponseThis story provided a really helpful overview of how the brain and the body responds to stressful situations. When something scares or stresses you out, your adrenal glands are ready to fire hormones to the hippocampus, the part of the limbic system in the brain that is essential to processing and perceiving stress. Other calming hormones are released in an effort to counteract the others; this internal imbalance of hormones is what we call stress.

The adrenal glands release of adrenaline gives us the physical symptoms of stress: increased heart rate, sweaty palms, and shortness of breath. This is when the body enters the “fight or flight” mode, and has lots of energy and increased senses to address the situation at hand. During this time, all other systems shut down, including the immune system, growth, and reproduction. The body will release hormones to calm us down, but this process takes a while, and becomes even longer with age.

You can read more about this process here.

I chose this story because I recently had a really stressful situation after watching a movie with one of my greatest fears in it. I was shaking, my chest hurt, and I couldn’t stop thinking about what scared me. I had difficulty sleeping that night, and really did not calm down until the next day. It was super interesting to see what was happening in my body during that time, and learn why it took me so long to settle.

Telia Stevens

finally!!!

Media Team Player

Telia is a 15 year old freshman at the Community Charter School of Cambridge. She is very excited about this semester at SCFG and at Mad Sci Mag and is willing to put in her all. Telia’s interests include writing, singing and watching anime! She believes every woman should be able to have equal chances in being in any type of work space and is excited for her future! She hopes everyone has a great time this semester and hopes to best of everyone.

Brendan Raftery

Brendan has been a mentor with the Science Club for Girls since 2011.  He graduated from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2012, and currently works at Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company in Cambridge. Outside of work, Brendan enjoys reading, speed skating, and cycling. His two ultimate dreams are to speed skate through the frozen canals of the Netherlands, and to start a biotechnology company.

Gina Varamo

GV

 Media Team Program Manager

Gina serves as the 2013-2014 AmeriCorps Massachusetts Promise Fellow at Science Club for Girls, and is program manager of the Media Team. She graduated from Emerson College in May 2013 with a degree in print & multimedia journalism, and a minor in environmental science and political science. She strongly believes in the power of communication, education, and engaging the community, making the Science Club for Girls Media Team a perfect fit! When not at Science Club, Gina loves hiking & being outside, gardening, cooking, board games & game shows, and working in her community.