Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Brain and Culture

Last night I caught the last fifteen minutes of 'Night Waves' on Radio 3, where the interviewer had a spot with US Professor of Psychiatry, Bruce E. Wexler, discussing his book Brain and Culture

Wexler's theory is that as the brain develops in youngsters neuron connections are forged and reforged as a byproduct of environment, and cultural forces around us. As we approach adulthood, our internal environment becomes fixed, thus making it harder for us to adapt to changes in the external environment. He argues for one thing, that this could contribute to culture clashes, where one cultural group does not understand another.

I know I'm simplifying things here immensely, but Wexler's book sounds really interesting. One for the reading pile after my courses end in October!

3 comments:

apprentice said...

Well that kind of knocks on the head the theory of "give me the child at seven and I'll give you the man". The book sounds interesting, but I'm not sure that I buy the cultural clashes thing as being down to individuals being unable to adapt, it seems to me that most clashes occur where and when people are collectively polarised and confirmed in their opinions. I wonder how he defines culture, as religious or secular?

I'd agree on the individual adult's inability to cope with change, my own experience suggests children deal with illness much better than us, but that could just be that we become hard wired to fear things.

You've been busy on your blog. I like the poem BTW.

Paige A Harrison said...

Like you blog, and look forward to exploring it more when I have the time.

Book sounds interesting. I'd tend to agree with Apprentice re: Culture clashes. The child's ability to adapt to change is most impressive. I wonder if dealing better with illness reflects the fact that they might not understand consequence/incidence of complications, etc.

Cailleach said...

Well that's just it paige, as children we don't have the accumulation of memories and traumas attached that we do have as adults - look at most people's irrational fear of going anywhere near a dentist! Thanks for popping in!

apprentice, that one about cultural clashes was just one example cited from the interview. I'd have to read the book before commenting further. Thanks both for your comments :¬)