I observed that Lanza’s facial expression here is exactly the same as the classical, wide-eyed Parkinson’s stare:
It’s surprisingly hard to find a good picture of the Parkinson’s stare on the internet, under all the clickbait (clickbait being possibly the worst thing to happen to the internet since social media). If you see an elderly person on the street who looks like a mix of surprised, haunted, angry, scared, and focused, you can take my word for it that they have Parkinson’s. This is the expression I imagine people wearing as they recount their tales of glimpsing Cthulhu. Ordinary people usually interpret this expression as “fury”, because ordinary people are retarded.
I think this may be a symptom of extreme executive function disorder, possibly due to chronic dopamine starvation. There is pretty good evidence for such starvation in the difference between his elementary school photo and later photos.
The child pictured here is the very image of good health and adjustment. His eyes may be bigger than average, and his spacing is wider than we’d expect for a boy, but he looks like your average happy little aspie enjoying life. This is usually the aspie experience in early childhood, before peers and authorities start engaging in incomprehensible, complex social behavior and bullying. Ex. “You don’t have to go to college, and we’ll support any decision you make, as long as your decision is to go to college.” WTF?
This is in middle school. Already, it looks like the malnutrition and psychotropic medications are warping his appearance, body language, and facial expressions. Whether by nature or by nurture, he’s acquired the sociopath chin and the overall appearance of an aspiepath. (Probably, the chin is genetic- his mom has it too.) So his amygdala is already busted by middle school.
This is the image most people are familiar with, which shows an emaciated, kooked-out homeless guy who’s gone off his meds. I doubt he’d slept properly since he was five years old, or whenever they first started him on Adderall, or whatever. This is not the face of a CEO, or a surgeon, or even a guy who’s managed to keep a job at Walgreen’s for six months in a row. This is the face of a chronic loser, who hasn’t experienced a shot of dopamine since middle school.
And what were they feeding him, unenriched, reduced-fat-and-sodium brown rice? He makes anorexics look buxom. I don’t think his overall physiognomic resemblance to polymath is coincidental:
This is what an “extreme ectomorph” looks like in context. One’s immediate reaction is “that guy doesn’t look healthy”. In polymath’s case, we don’t see any malformation of the dental arch (his post-pubescent face is actually quite attractive), whereas Lanza’s narrow dental arch is a textbook example of malnutrition under an “industrial” diet. (Otherwise, his face betrays no postural problems- it is not artificially lengthened, although it appears so due to its narrowness.) Of course, his doctors probably said he was absolutely fine because his BMI was below 25, and their charts foretold a long and healthy life as a vegan marathoner. I’m beginning to think doctors wouldn’t have learned how to tie their own shoes if it hadn’t been “on the test” back in preschool.
In summary, I think the sociopath chin is mostly genetic, the expression is due to chronic dopamine starvation, and the body’s inability to process nutrients is still kind of a mystery.