Your parents started fighting over you before you were even born!

It's not nature vs. nurture or even nature and nurture: it's more complicated than that. And why shouldn't it be? You may not expect this from such a deterministic mechanistic thinker like me, but how could the mechanisms of life be anything BUT complex and random and magic and filled with mystery and serindipity:

Epigenetics Seeks Clues to Mental Illness in Genes’ Life Story


  1. Love this - more, Laura, more

  2. Thank you, Laura. I am working on a post re genetics. This is really helpful.

  3. Charlotte posted this on my wall on FB and I replied as follows:

    Now this is the type of newspaper article I prefer to see: geek stuff (cf. Daily Mail bollox)...

    As you know, I've always argued against the dichotomy of nature vs. nurture...

    I quite like the journalist's writing style, and the sentence "Oxytocin oils the brain’s social circuits..." made me giggle for some reason...

    Interestingly, oxytocin administration does increase social behaviours in people with autism, and specific nucleotides in the oxytocin receptor gene of people with autism tend to be highly methylated, which makes their brains less responsive to oxytocin. Yet, this theory is at odds with the knowledge that while people with autism may find interactions and bonding with humans difficult, they may 'bond' to animals (think of Temple Grandin, for example; she adores animals and 'reads' them perfectly).

    I think that autism has more to do with limbic system and links to the cortex and I like Dalton and Davidson's theory regarding the amygdala. To what extent that is an epigenetic phenonmenon, I really don't know...

    Interesting how famine in parents may increase risk of schizophrenia in offspring...


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