novice interest

cc3265 at albnyvms.bitnet cc3265 at albnyvms.bitnet
Sun Jan 29 18:20:40 EST 1995

In article <3ggmee$4ep at>, roydon at (Leroy Higdon) writes:
>Can anyone advise reading material conserning new or ongoing research 
>in the area of genetic influences on the mechanics of information 
>storage and retreval in the human brain?
You might be interested in a book titled "The Adaptive Mind", edited
by JH Barkow (1992).  It contains several articles on possible
evolved mechanisms of mind.  I don't know if this is quite what you
want, but I found it a very interesting book.  I agree that there
*should* be a genetic influence on behavior, if one accepts the mind
as part of the brain, which is subject to the laws of biology like
any other organ.  However, it is unlikely to be a matter of simple
Mendelian genetics (one gene, one trait), but probably a very complicated
polygenic situation, very vulnerable to environmental influence.  The
example you gave of a family of musicians is a case in point:  why
could environmental influence not be the case here, when the growing
child is surrounded from birth by musicians and the love of music? 
What you'd really want to know is whether a child of musicians, adopted
at birth by non-musicians, would still turn out to be musically inclined.

>As one not well versed in the subject matter, I suggest that there is 
>reason to suspect that there may be a stroung genetic influance present 
>at conception which is responsible for constructing pathways to various 
>parts of the brain and which influences an indiviguals thought process 
>and dictates his or hers interest throughout life. This influence is 
>modified by environment over time but it is the dominent force by which 
>the indivigual preceives all aspects of their surroundings. For example, 
>a child born to world class musicians tends to be farmore apt in the 
>area of music than one who is not. Is it possible that this child has 
>far grater connections in more areas of the brain which are directly 
>related to music? Can this explane why this child might be fare more 
>sensitive, even in early years, to tones, pitch, recall of music related 
>memory, musical intrest, etc. If genitics have so prefound an inpact on 
>evry other aspect of the human construct then how can the brains 
>functionality not be equally influenced by the same genetic sceam of 

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