Brain World Magazine - Spring Issue is Out

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Who are we? Are we simply the product of our DNA? Or does environment play a bigger influence? The question of nature versus nurture, of genetics versus environment, is one of the most intriguing ones that will tell us how we become who we are. Find out the answers to these questions and more in the Spring issue of Brain World magazine, the quarterly publication and website ( about everything related to the Brain, which hits newsstands on March 20, 2012.

Studies of twins, especially twins separated at birth, have shown scientists how much of a role genetics plays. Children raised in poverty or those who suffer trauma are also shaped by their environment. Much of science today leans toward GxE—gene-environment interaction—as the coefficients that make us who we are. It’s all there plus interviews with Dr. Iain McGilchrist, London psychiatrist and author of “The Master and His Emissary,” Neuroscientist Dr. Sam Wang on the Cerebellum, book roundups and updates on the activities of the United Nations.

Articles include:

Father Figure: What Fatherhood Does to Men’s Brains

Becoming a mother is a life-changing event, bringing out hormones and natural tendencies in a woman that help prepare her during the nine months until the child is born. But what about the men? “Parenthood is exactly the kind of event that you might expect to harness the brain’s natural neuroplasticity to help prepare indiiduals for the adventure that awaits,” says Kayt Sukel, author of “Dirty Minds: How Our Brains Influence Love, Sex and Relationships (Free Press, 2012.) “Given the sheer number of physical changes that a woman goes through, you’d expect that some major rewiring might be happening in the brain. But work in animal models suggests that dad’s brains are getting a bit of a reorg, too.”

Can Trauma Pass from One Generation to the Next?

According to the analysis of children’s brainwave functioning, it was found that people can inherit brain patterns from distant generations. Stephen Porges, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and director of the Brain-Body Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, “A history of abuse may ‘tune’ the nervous system to be cautious and prepared for defensive fight-or-flight behaviors, even when real danger does not exist.” Hypertension and obesity result and although diet and exercise are noble endeavors they do not get to the root cause of these maladies. The brain holds the answers and new technologies may be able to stop the cycle of inherited trauma and illness to provide effective solutions.

5 Ways to Flip the Switch on Misery

According to psychotherapist and mental health counselor Anne Katherine, some people are wired to feel like helpless victims and become “addicted to their misery.” It’s a chemical thing and trying to change a behavior is like altering the body’s chemistry. Child and adolescent psychotherapist Robin Balbernie attributes behavior to early socialization experiences saying that programming from birth, with specific beliefs and experiences can control what we will seek out later in life. This article gives 5 ways to track down the source of these “electrical problems” and break free from debilitating patterns of behavior.

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Margaret Emory
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