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A recent twin study looked at educational achievement in the UK and found that genetic factors contribute more than half to the difference in how students perform in their age 16 exams. But this may not apply to other countries. Twin studies look at the balance between environmental and genetic factors for a given population and a given environment. They are based on comparing identical and non-identical twins. Identical twins share 100% of their DNA, non-identical twins 50%. They also share a common environment (for example, the family home) and some unique experiences. Mind Hacks

Mind Hacks

The Situationist

Some recent discoveries in evolutionary biology, ethology, neurology, cognitive psychology and behavioral economics impels us to rethink the very foundations of law if we want to answer many questions remain unanswered in legal theory. Where does our ability to interpret rules and think in terms of fairness in relation to others come from? Does the ability to reason about norms derive from certain aspects of our innate rationality and from mechanisms that were sculptured in our moral psychology by evolutionary processes? Legal theory must take the complexity of the human mind into account Any answer to these foundational issues demands us to take into consideration what these other sciences are discovering about how we behave. The Situationist
What We Talk About When We Talk About Genius A personal essay about the meaning of genius and the importance of intellectual ancestry. The Cold Humanists The Beautiful Brain | The Art and Science of the Human Mind The Beautiful Brain | The Art and Science of the Human Mind
I'm vaguely aware of the vast new field of epigenetics, defined in various ways, but all definitions are based in the central concept that environmental forces can affect gene behavior, either turning genes on or off. I thought this recent summary by Helen Fisher was a nice statement of the importance of this new field: ..two basic mechanisms are known: one involves molecules known as methyl-groups that latch on to DNA to suppress and silence gene expression; the other involves molecules known as acetyl-groups which activate and enhance gene expression...Moroccan Amazighs or Berbers, people with highly similar genetic profiles reside in three different environments: some roam the deserts as nomads; some farm the mountain slopes; some live in the towns and cities along the Moroccan coast. Deric Bownds' MindBlog Deric Bownds' MindBlog
title Depression and Creativity symposium at the Library of Congressdescription With excellent video production quality (but no slides), this webcast "…marks the bicentennial of the birth of German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), who died after a depression, a very severe depression following the death of his sister [Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel]," says Dr. Jamison to open the long unedited video featuring three top speakers. She gives an overview and review of studies on mental illness and creativity, Terence Ketter speaks on related clinical studies and neuroimaging, and Peter Whybrow, Director of UCLA's Semel Institute talks about neurobiological correlates of creativity. producer Library of Congressfeaturing Kay Redfield Jamison, Terence Ketter, Peter Whybrowformat Real Mediadate 03/02/09length 02:04:43link Tags: brain video lecture depression bipolar art neuropsychiatry neuroimaging Channel N Channel N
Cognitive Daily