The psychopathic gang stalking of Judge Roy Moore

I wouldn’t have voted for Roy Moore, we are too far apart on the issues.  But that’s what should determine elections – issues and vision of the future, not character assassination.  We all deserve fair play whether in the political arena, courts or life.  Without judging the allegations (though I’ve never, ever, witnessed a tearless fake crier who turned out to be truthful.  Tearless fake crying is a psychopathic pity play specialty, they think we are too stupid to notice), I’d like to focus on the psychopathic gang stalking strategies used against him.  Even if it turns out he is guilty of the allegations, which we have no proof of, the media approach was very improper.

The attack was essentially through a very sly and improper use of English plus a kind of word inflation.  “Accused pedophile”, “accused molester” were terms that were used across the media (in seemingly organized fashion, but then our fake news industry is really a social engineering industry).  There is no such thing as either of those terms.  ‘Accused pedophile?’ — ‘what’s the pedophile accused of?’ — the phrase assumes the actuality of the subject being a pedophile.  This is a purposeful psychopath-think strategy to ‘slide’ the pedophile accusation into the realm of reality.  The proper term of course is ‘alleged pedophile.’  However in this instance Roy Moore was never accused of pedophilia.  He was accused of sexual activity with a post puberty minor.  Pedophilia is the sexual interest in pre-pubescent children.  He was never accused of that.  If the then fourteen year old’s assertions are true, the crime would have been lewd behavior with a minor — not even statutory rape (which is consenting sex with a minor before the age of consent) or molestation.   But the terms, pedophile, child abuser, molester, perv have been thrown around by the so-called journalists.  Katy Tur and that fake journalist with his own fake news show, Chris Cuomo, come to mind.  Roy Moore should collect instances where the term alleged was not added and sue — if not guilty as charged of course.  I don’t know if he’s guilty of any of these allegations but I do know the media is guilty of psychopathic gangstalking through the purposeful sly use of language and word meaning inflation plus moral sliminess in the cause of character assassination.

There were many elements involved in the character attack on Moore.  It was designed to stampede him out of the race.  It started with a piling on of allegations (none of which had ever surfaced before in his controversial and contentious political/judicial career — this doesn’t prove them false, but does raise questions) with no time for a where-does-the-truth-lay investigation.  There is no such thing as ‘Oh, the accuser is credible, so we should just believe the accuser.’  We’re not mind readers and no court works like that.  In a ‘he said, she said’ law case, both stories are examined and both parties cross examined.  If an accuser is credible then you take the accusers accusations seriously and examine them, not take them on faith.  That public assertion by so much of the media otherwise is simple nonsense and a symptom of their moral corruption.  Then of course, there was the frequently raised question of “what motivation would the accusers have had to lie” and thus that they must be telling the truth.  That’s naive and childish at best, and assumed similarity disorder at worst.  There are as many motivations to lie as there are types of mental illness, as there are individuals in need of money, as there are individuals who can be blackmailed, etc.

Going back to tearless fake criers, we all recall Juanita Broaddrick.  A number of years ago I was going to do a post analyzing a couple of her accusatory (against Bill Clinton) videos but never got around to it.  There were moments where in the midst of her fake crying and shaking shoulders she would get still and look out through her outstretched fingers that were ‘hiding her grief’ and seemingly judge the effect of her performance, with cold tearless eyes.  I found her totally unbelievable and strongly suspect her of being an actual psychopath and probably that rarest of rare, a pseudologue.  There should be no shame, no public prohibition in asking that accusers prove they are not psychopaths, not pathological liars.

How to prove what everyone knows but nobody says?

Hmmm.  The recent sex abuse scandals/allegations call to mind my old stomping grounds, the heavily psychopathic UBS.  It is my opinion and my belief that the rumors were correct and that UBS’s Municipal Securities Group was run by a male sex club.

I have no interest in what consenting adults do in private, but a sex club in a workplace involving very high management and playing a role in hiring, firing and other decisions is both bad business practice and criminal.   I recall a managing director, about whom junior bankers often wondered, out loud, regarding his continued presence, as he hadn’t made any money for the firm in years.  I wasn’t surprised however, he was a frequent member of the male coterie, whose slacks all sported carefully tailored derrieres, that always accompanied a very high level psychopathic officer.  I don’t think the rules applied to him.

There is a fair amount of sexual abuse/harassment in offices.  At UBS, I ran the second shift Presentations Center (egads!  don’t call it a word processing center) in my division.  Unions need to help protect their members.

Guards are actually a big problem.  We had a male co-worker who told of a guard (who seemed to me to be psychopathic) trying to blackmail him into sexual favors after a camera caught him and a friend in a stairwell.  He just laughed and told the guard to ‘eff off’.

Later I saw the same guard talking to our cleaning woman in an obscure corner of the trading floor (i.e., out of reach of any cameras).  Subsequent to this, I would see, almost nightly for a bit, 4 to 5 guards seemingly hanging around and doing nothing.  However, our cleaning friend would be nowhere to be seen and the guards would seem to disappear and reappear one by one.  When I did see the cleaning lady she seemed unhappy and agitated.  So I went up the ladder and suggested that the situation be investigated for sexual harassment.  A few days later that contingent of guards disappeared and I never saw them again.  The cleaning woman went back to being much happier.

She had been in a real bind as she was married.  Perhaps the guards had seen her entertain a friend in a stairwell or elsewhere, as happened to our co-worker, and then blackmailed her.

At Salomon Brothers, where I was a Wang Computer Admin on the third shift, I was friends with another cleaning woman.  She was a single mother and often talked about how important health insurance through her job was, for her son.  Several times a week when her supervisor made his rounds, they would both disappear for twenty or so minutes.  Usually she would reappear chewing gum.  This was all late at night.  I once asked her how her boss was, she replied that he was great and very friendly.  OK.

In this case the union, 32BJ SEIU, could have been of help.  They should have, should still, put together a sexual harassment kit and/or procedure.  Back then, it was before cell phones, but there were still small tape recorders available.  Proof of sexual harassment should have been/should be like winning the lottery.  A close to automatic lawsuit win.

Obviously it is easy for the corrupt to take advantage of relative power positions.  Basically I think human nature is corrupt, I find most people are as self serving as they can get away with, and, on top of that, psychopaths are infinitely corrupt.

 

He’s baaa-aaack!


This is a message from a psychopathic NYPD cop.  I don’t understand why I am not being protected from him.  Normal police officers, with normal human brains, you owe him no loyalty.  Psychopathic brains differ from ours.

If anyone in the NYPD, Internal Affairs, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, or the AG’s office is seeking to identity him, the closest I can come is Klaus Kinski’s photo below.  He had the same haircut and hair color the times I saw him from 1995 through spring, 2016, but with weirder eyes.  Do the equivalent of photo yearbooks exist?  Plus, do officers have to register non-NYPD supplied firearms?

More:  My own NYPD-badged secret psycho cyberstalker/stalker.

This add showed up within days of filing a second Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request of the NYPD.  It’s obvious that he has something to hide (he followed similar timing before).  He should be arrested immediately for attempting to derail the FOIL process through threatening murder (which I personally believe he is quite capable of attempting).

[Private:  To the third party psychopath, why involve yourself?  What would it gain you?  Or was that you, ‘Klaus’, threatening an uninvolved individual?]

“Think of [psychopaths] as aliens — it may help you understand them” — Lovefraud

By Donna Anderson, at lovefraud.com:

” . . . here is the most important lesson to learn about sociopaths: You cannot interpret their behavior in the same way you interpret your own behavior.

Sociopaths are fundamentally different from the rest of us. They have a personality disorder, and this disorder reaches to the core of their beings. Here’s what this means:

  1. Sociopaths cannot feel empathetic connections with other people.
  2. Sociopaths do not have the ability to love.
  3. Sociopaths are interested only in power, control and sex.
  4. Sociopaths’ main motivation is to win.
  5. Anything that comes out of a sociopath’s mouth could be a lie.
  6. Sociopaths have no conscience.

You could think of them as aliens. I’m not saying that they literally are aliens (although there are people who believe that). But sociopaths are missing the characteristics, traits and abilities that make us truly human.

For most of us, this realization is a shock to the system. They look just like the rest of us. They appear to be so normal, talented, fun and exciting. They keep proclaiming their love. It’s so hard to believe that they are simply acting. It’s all a charade, a mirage.”  https://lovefraud.com/think-of-sociopaths-as-aliens-it-may-help-you-understand-them/

There is that often quoted saying that ‘to understand another, walk a mile in their shoes.’  But you can’t with psychopaths, their world is that alien.

The dead eyes of an extreme psychopath — Paul Horner news hoaxer dead at 38

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=paul+horner+death&t=opera&ia=web
An obvious at a glance psychopath.  Anyone with these looks is also a psychopath.  If you ever hear an interview please note his affectless voice — an obvious by ear psychopath.

Here’s Skylar Deleon:

Vicitims Tom and Jackie Hawks, top, their boat – “Well Deserved” – convicted killer Jennifer Henderson, bottom right, and her ex-husband, former child star Skylar Deleon, bottom left. Pictures: AP

My own NYPD-badged secret psycho cyberstalker/stalker

This ad has only shown up three times over the years.  Usually too fast to be able to grab a screenshot.  There is simply no way this ad could be innocent.  Why would he brag about hacking Adwords?  For the same reason teenage psychopathic criminals film their rapes of school mates or beatings of homeless victims.  Psychopaths aren’t self referential (one of their arrested development traits), they need feedback from the outside world to assure themselves of the worth (or wickedness) of their deeds.  Plus what good is it to get over someone without letting them know.  Thus when he started giving an ex of mine tours of my apartment almost 20 years ago, he used to turn electronic devices on and off, it’s called gaslighting.  Solid proof to me, unbelievable to others (such as PAAs, police administrative assistants, who take complaints).  Often in gaslighting campaigns one isn’t really sure:  “Maybe I did leave those windshield wipers on”, etc.  But here components/devices were left on I hadn’t used in years.

The death threats started showing up during my NYPD FOIL application seeking details and source of a character assassination campaign against myself — I believe he is the source and his response supports that.  They’ve gone through various stages after I mentioned them in the same FOIL application, and in complaints to the CCRB, NYPD IAB, the AG’s office, in court filings and to an officer assigned to investigate the matter.  First the ads mostly featured guns and other weapons, then ‘dangerous looking’ flashlights (I’m not kidding, see below), then “Rest in Peace” ads, then ads featuring the words ‘dead’ or ‘kill’.  And every once in a while he brings old ones back.

 

This one was a ‘two-fer’, so are bodies.

The two ads above are curious.  For a while dry ads regarding Peyronie’s disease were showing up.  Then this one with the humorous graphics appeared.  What does it mean?  I don’t have Peyronie’s of course, I’m normal.  Oh wait, we are all normal to ourselves.  Maybe I should check.  Hey anybody have a Playboy and a Viagra?!  That’s the ticket!  This may be a serious matter however.  For framing purposes it helps to have distinguishing details such as birthmarks, moles, individual physical traits, etc.  There have already been a couple pick-up attempts by women I barely knew, within sight of their NYPD plainclothes handlers (I kid you not).  Will they be content with failure or will they cook up something?

(It should be noted that there was an extreme sexual charge between these ladies and their NYPD handlers.  So they were trying to please a lover.  They should sue the NYPD for rape.  Or advertise and make it a class action suit.  Of course at the time they wouldn’t have felt it was rape, but once slammed down for being of no use perhaps they changed their minds.  ‘Whatever it Takes’, ‘By any Means Necessary‘ are the mottos of psychopathic law enforcement units.  Sex means nothing more to them than taking an inflatable doll to bed or two people scratching each other behind their elbows simultaneously.  Of course I find it disquieting that by being friendly to me these ladies became prey for badged lizard Lotharios.

Psychopathic Don Juans are simply out of this world skillful, almost unbelievably so — emotional shapeshifters of quantum speed.  Perhaps they were coached by an Officer Eugene Depasse, if he is in fact an NYPD officer.  I was introduced to a Eugene Depasse (De Pas?) at a wedding between members of my ex’s therapy group (Nancy Becker, therapist) as I recall.  Also I was told privately that Gene had stated that he had come to therapy in order to stop living the womanizer life.  Ha, ha, ha.  Most likely, this psychopath was trying to understand his failures, join art to science, become an even more talented womanizer.  All psychopaths, no matter their intelligence, essentially live as strangers in a strange land, surrounded by others doing things for reasons they can’t understand.  So group therapy with normals could be very useful to them, but extremely dangerous to the normals.  Not being an insider I don’t know if Gene surreptitiously took over the group (as they often do places of work) but I believe Ms. Becker allowed him and probably other psychopathic clients to ruin the lives of clients.  I do have some memory of being told he was some kind of officer, perhaps it was NYPD.  The two NYPD Lotharios in question here, were one, a tall, 6′ 1″ or 2″ good looking Caucasian young man with solid brown hair, the other, a sort of roly poly individual in his forties, 5’ 8″to 10″ of Mediterranean complexion, both very arrogant.)

The appearance of this last ad was chilling.  It appeared on the evening of August 23, within an hour of my having bought an 4-pack of an identically packaged similar diet drink.  It would seem the murderous, psychopathic punk is stalking me.  I don’t understand why I can’t get protection from his Cape Fearing, cyber and otherwise.  This is a rogue, bad apple, criminal cop who should be arrested — for stalking, issuing death threats, trying to derail a FOIL and Art. 78 proceeding by same, investigated for possible attempted murder, and, though it may be hard to prove, for phone tapping and black bag entry for purposes of providing info/entertainment to an ex.

This one was even more chilling.  

It appeared the day after I had gone to a 24 hour flat fix joint late at night after finding a screw in my tire tread.  What does this ad mean?  That he was following/stalking me?  That he had placed that screw there (again) and was laughing at me because I couldn’t prove anything (https://pathwhisperer.info/2014/09/09/is-there-a-training-day-crew-in-the-nypd-and-are-they-targetting-me/)?  It has since appeared five or six more times.

Of course it’s another ‘two-fer’, he’s also calling me a slime.

For a brief period in May I was shadowed by a particular unmarked police car while dog walking.  Sometimes the occupant would even wave from close behind his illegally dark front window.  I could see his waving hand and arm, but nothing else of him.  He had parallel parked his car in a tight parking space.  I considered his action then, and consider it so now, to be a threat of imminent attack.  For awhile similar police cars also had illegally dark license plate covers in addition to the illegally dark front window, but the Village Voice’s Nick Pinto seems to have put an end to that. This car had plate number NYS EGR 6154, I believe, a smallish red Chevy, probably an Impala.  Perhaps this is my perp.

UPDATE, Oct. 9, 2017:  My mother and sister report that they have been receiving numerous hang up calls.  It should be noted that they no longer live at home due to a serious fire.

UPDATE, Oct. 25,2017:  He’s baaa-aaack!

This is a message from a psychopathic NYPD cop.  I don’t understand why I am not being protected from him.  Normal police officers, with normal human brains, you owe him no loyalty.  Psychopathic brains differ from ours.

If anyone in the NYPD, Internal Affairs, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, or the AG’s office is seeking to identity him, the closest I can come is Klaus Kinski’s photo below.  He had the same haircut, same color, the times I saw him from 1995 through spring, 2016, but with weirder eyes.  Do the equivalent of photo yearbooks exist?  Plus, do officers have to register non-NYPD supplied firearms?

This add showed up within days of my filing a second Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request of the NYPD.  It’s obvious that he has something to hide (he followed similar timing before).  He should be arrested immediately for attempting to derail the FOIL process through threatening murder (which I personally believe he is quite capable of attempting).

[Private:  To the third party psychopath, why involve yourself?  What would it gain you?  Or was that you, ‘Klaus’, threatening an uninvolved individual?]

“How do mirror neurons work in psychopaths?”, from Quora

Is Quora going to save the world?

A lengthy quote follows (https://www.quora.com/How-do-mirror-neurons-work-in-psychopaths).  For the purposes of this blog, I moved the claimed debunking opinion to the end.

Natalie Engelbrecht
 How do mirror neurons work in psychopaths?

Mirror neurons play a significant role in observational learning, and such neurons also play a central role in empathy (Lacoboni, 2009; Ramachandran, 2000). However, psychopaths are skillful in copying other people’s reactions or behaviour (i.e. seem to have more and/or more active mirror neurons).

As with all my answers on psychopathy and the dark triad (sociopathy, NDP and machiavellism, my answer begins by operationalizing the term psychopath from a previous answer I wrote:

Natalie Engelbrecht’s answer to What is the difference between sociopathy, psychopathy, and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)?

V. S. Ramachandran is a neurologist and an author, who discusses the mysteries of the human brain and is a huge advocate for mirror neurons. Mirror neurons were first discovered in the 1990s by a team of Italian researchers studying macaque monkeys. Motor neurons fire in a monkey’s brain when the monkey reaches for a peanut. Interestingly, a subset of these neurons, called mirror neurons,also fire when the monkey watches another monkey reach for a peanut. They found that mirror neurons are a type of brain cell that respond equally when we perform an action and when we witness someone else perform the same action.

For example motor neurons fire when we poke a person with a needle, but a subset of these neurons, the mirror neurons, fire when we witness someone else being poked with a needle. These mirror neurons appear to be our way of empathizing with another. They are the mechanism by which we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and are the basis of our empathy. As such, they may be the basis for human ethics.

Ramachandran notes that autistic children appear to suffer from mirror neuron dysfunction, resulting in a lack of empathy and an inability to relate to others. A separate article about mirror neurons notes that psychopaths and sociopaths have impaired functioning of the mirror neurons. Interestingly the MAOA-L gene, which I have previously written on is present in both psychopaths, people with ADHD and also those with autism.

Natalie Engelbrecht’s answer to What are the effects of having MAOA?

Recent advances in social neuroscience suggest a link between empathy and the mirror neuron system (MNS). Impaired empathy is one of the core diagnostic features of psychopathic personality disorder…. Consistent with previous data, observation of the painful stimulus was associated with a significant reduction in the amplitude of the TMS-induced MEP. Interestingly, the level of corticospinal excitability modulation was positively correlated with individual scores on the coldheartedness subscale of the PPI, such that individuals with the greatest MEP reduction were the ones scoring highest on the coldheartedness measure. These data suggest the existence of a functional link between ‘motor empathy’ and psychopathy.

Psychopathy and the mirror neuron system: preliminary findings from a non-psychiatric sample.

This research contradicts what a senior FBI profiler, tells Kevin Dutton (author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths): “Sadistic serial killers feel their victims’ pain in exactly the same way that you or I might feel it. They feel it cognitively and objectively, and emotionally and subjectively too. But the difference between them and us is that they commute that pain to their own subjective pleasure. Studies have also shown that some psychopaths have more ‘mirror neurons’ (empathy brain cells) than normal people. Further prosocial psychopaths can be more altruistic than the rest of us. Studies have shown that psychopaths are quicker to offer help to people in need than everyday folk.”

Thus the verdict is out. I suspect that born not raised psychopaths have more mirror neurons, as the MAOA-L gene research indicates, while sociopaths and others of the dark triad have less. Until, the terms are operationalized for research, the research will continue to be contradictory.

The role of shared neural activations, mirror neurons, and morality in empathy – A critical comment

Do Mirror Neurons Give Us Empathy?

The mind’s mirror

Ryan J Farrick

I read an interview with Ramachandran and he explains his hypothesis quite well. You can read the exchange here:

Do Mirror Neurons Give Us Empathy?

Ramachandran explains how, when we engage in physical activity, our brain fires off neurons which travel from our central nervous system to body parts. “Motor neurons” help our organs function and our muscles move. They are, in essence, responsible for our ability to breathe and interact with the world around us.

When we perform an action, our motor neurons activate our musculature in an appropriate way via synapses and a synaptic connection called the neuromuscular junction. Mirror neurons, which activate upon simply being shown a stimulus, provide a similar trace response. Your brain uses them to effectively “feel” an observation. That’s part of the reason why we cringe during violent movies and get nervous for flagging athletes – we can, in a very tiny and distant way, go through what they’re going through.

Ramachandran, being a professor at the University of California at San Diego, does a much better job explaining the implications:

A subset of these neurons also fire when I simply watch another person—watch you reach out and do exactly the same action. So these neurons are performing a virtual reality simulation of your mind, your brain. Therefore, they’re constructing a theory of your mind—of your intention—which is important for all kinds of social interaction.

His hypothesis is that the ability of “mirror neurons” to subtly simulate an observed action underlies our capacity to feel empathy and, figuratively, put ourselves in another person’s shoes.

It turns out these anterior cingulate neurons that respond to my thumb being poked will also fire when I watch you being poked—but only a subset of them. There are non-mirror neuron pain neurons and there are mirror neuron pain neurons.

So these [mirror] neurons are probably involved in empathy for pain. If I really and truly empathize with your pain, I need to experience it myself. That’s what the mirror neurons are doing, allowing me to empathize with your pain—saying, in effect, that person is experiencing the same agony and excruciating pain as you would if somebody were to poke you with a needle directly. That’s the basis of all empathy.

While Ramachandran talks at some length about a link he speculates exists between mirror neurons and autism, he doesn’t touch upon the subject of psychopathy in his easily-understandable interview. However, it doesn’t take much imagination to draw the conclusion that a person who either lacks sufficient mirror neurons or who has defective mirror neurons might be less than empathetic.

Other studies (http://www.psy-journal.com/artic…) have contributed to the idea that a lack of emotionality can be correlated to a lack of reponsiveness from mirror neurons. The cited paper, linked to in the parentheses, describes how persons who scored high on the Psychopathic Personality Inventory had certain reactions to images of hands being poked with needles or knives. Specifically, individuals who had higher-than-average “coldheartedness” marks on the Inventory were observed to have experienced a stronger reduction in “TMS motor evoked potentials” versus those who had scored normally or lower than average.

That doesn’t prove that there’s a link between mirror neurons and psychopathy, but it does suggest that mirror neurons can either affect or be affected by traits associated with the label.

(apparently the study had a small sample size and a weak correlation between coldheartedness and strength of reduction in TMS-MEPs: Mirror Neurons in the Sociopath)

Mirror neurons are not well-understood and would not likely adequately explain psychopathy. Deformations and abnormalities in the amygdala also correlate with high scores on the PPI. Since the amygdala is at least partially responsible for our ability to deduce the meaning of facial expressions and read social cues, it makes sense that an un-empathic person might have structural deficiencies.

That link seems to have more evidence underlying it. Research suggests that a “global volume reduction” in the amygdala would positively correlate to the exhibition of psychopathic features in relation to the amount of shrinkage. Checking out (http://www.psy.cmu.edu/~scohen/S…) also shows that test subjects with larger amygdalae also had larger and more complex social networks than those with smaller amygdalae.

The conclusion of https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc… was that the posited link between amygdala volumes and psychopathic traits was valid. However, NCBI isn’t a perfect resource for peer-reviewed articles, and I didn’t do a validation check.

Psychopathy is a condition about which much remains to be explained. Speculation about the role of mirror neurons is exciting, but should be taken with a grain of salt.

If you have any interest in how the theory of psychopathy came into existence, I’d recommend checking out Hervey Cleckley’s book “Mask of Sanity” and Robert Hare’s “Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths.” Both are quite easy and interesting to read and provide a sold informational foundation about the condition and its psychological components.

Nicolò Muller

Recent advances in social neuroscience suggest a link between empathy and the mirror neuron system (MNS). Impaired empathy is one of the core diagnostic features of psychopathic personality disorder.

A study investigated whether psychopathic personality traits in a non-psychiatric sample were related to MNS function.

Healthy participants viewed short videos known to activate the sensorimotor MNS for pain (a needle penetrating a human hand) while transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-induced motor evoked potentials (MEP) were recorded as a measure of motor cortex excitability. Individual psychopathic personality traits were assessed using the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI) and correlated with the MEP findings. Consistent with previous data, observation of the painful stimulus was associated with a significant reduction in the amplitude of the TMS-induced MEP. Interestingly, the level of corticospinal excitability modulation was positively correlated with individual scores on the coldheartedness subscale of the PPI, such that individuals with the greatest MEP reduction were the ones scoring highest on the coldheartedness measure. These data suggest the existence of a functional link between ‘motor empathy’ and psychopathy.

 

Yohan John

I think a lot of nonsense has been spread in the media about mirror neurons.

There is very little evidence that mirror neurons have anything whatsoever to do with empathy. They are found all over the brain , and seem to have something to do with the ability to recognize or categorize actions. There is a huge gulf between recognition/categorization and the concept of empathy. Even imitation is not an indicator of empathy. You can, for example, imitate a person you are mercilessly making fun of. So mirror neurons can easily be considered a basis for imitation without empathy.

Why should the mere fact of a neuron firing when you do something and when I do the same thing have anything to do with empathy? We’d need a fully fleshed-out neural theory of emotion and motivation in order to make such a leap. No such theory exists.

“In fact we do not yet have the research to show that mirror neurons are vital for human empathy, and there are reasons to believe that empathy is possible without them.”

A Calm Look at the Most Hyped Concept in Neuroscience – Mirror Neurons

In fact mirror neurons haven’t even been directly observed in humans: all the evidence comes from monkeys. This is because we are very rarely able to stick electrodes into people’s brains: this only happens for a small group of epileptic patients.

So we can’t even make any inferences about mirror neurons’ function in humans, let alone in the specific sub-group that is psychopaths. You can speculate away, but the actual neuroscientific evidence is extremely slim.

_____

For more on the concept of mirror neurons, see this essay I wrote, in which I break down some key misconceptions and confusions.

Do mirror neurons explain understanding, or is it the other way round?

Also see the following:

  • Mirror Neurons — The unfalsifiable theory — Talking Brains
  • What’s So Special About Mirror Neurons? — SciAm
  • Mirror Neurons: The Most Hyped Concept in Neuroscience? — Psychology Today

In fact a neuroscientist named Greg Hickok recently wrote a book debunking much of the mirror neuron hype:

The Myth of Mirror Neurons