Q. What type of brain engages in terrorist activities? I’m scared since 9/11!

A. I wish we knew! Many share your concerns. Remember, however, that terrorism is really nothing new. A recent television documentary purported the KKK to be the largest terrorist organization in America. I have not seen studies related to PET Scans or MRIs or even thinking styles assessment on the brains of individuals who have been labeled as terrorist.

My own belief is that many human brains are capable of some form of terrorism given the right circumstances, even as many human brains are capable of violent behaviors given the right circumstances. It would partly depend on one’s definition of terrorism. For example, does fanaticism in almost any area (e.g., jealousy, religion, diet, music, exercise, reading matter) that is imposed on another individual fall into the broad category of terrorism?

My guess is that the brain of a terrorist, so called, would need to believe strongly about one or more issues and be influenced by a host of environmental factors. The outcome might be an overemphasis on some aspects of brain function and an underemphasis on others. Terrorism may be the quintessential poster brain for the importance of taking good care of the brain and living life in balance!