the liver and the brain

r norman rsn_ at _comcast.net
Thu Sep 2 07:56:56 EST 2004

On Thu, 2 Sep 2004 22:15:58 +1000, "P"
<fell_trapforspambot_in at ozemail.com.au> wrote:

>"r norman" <rsn_ at _comcast.net> wrote in message
>news:2qtbj091g9pre25dj91ra68dmf4vbjtq3a at 4ax.com...
>> The question is, are the specific neural circuits that produce infant
>> babbling almost completely genetically determined or does learning and
>> practice and use, all of which result in synaptic plasticity changes,
>> play a major part in producing the functional circuits?  I do not know
>> the answer.
>I suggest that you learn what the truth is by beginning to listening to a
>range of babies (e.g. Burmese, Brittish, Bengali, Basque, Bulgarian, and
>Berber) braking out into babble for the very first time and check to see if
>there as significant and consistent differences delineated by the different
>language into which they were born.
>I bet these babbles by babies sound exactly the same across the globe.
>I would be rather surprised if there were such detectable differences; And
>if they would turn out to exist, they may then still have been predetermined
>not by differences in DNA but by differences in a combination of
>epigenetically effective factors, such as e.g. diet.
>Peter F

In the context of the post from which you snipped that excerpt, and
from the other posts I made in this thread, it should be obvious that
I know full well that there is established research in this area.  I
simply declared that I, personally, hadn't done the research and
didn't know the answer.  However Ray Scanlon, the one making all the
initial claims, also did not cite any specific research or evidence.
I was simply challenging him to present documented evidence that "The
subject is motor program generators. The DNA provides the generators;
we hear them when the infant babbles.".

It is obvious that the human brain does contain genetically programmed
circuits (motor program generators, if you will) and I gave literature
citations to that fact.  It is obvious that initial motor acts by
newborns are not "learned" in a traditional sense, although much
neural development is also conditioned by plastic changes to genetic
circuits that  depend on fetal experience and I gave literature
citations to that fact   Without quibbling over what constitutes
"babbling", certainly there is a difference between initial motor
acts, cries, and vocalizations made by an infant and the actual
babbles produced later and which act as a prelude to the development
of spoken language.  I can accept that vocalizations are universal.
Are you saying that "goo-goo" and "mama", including the nuances of
just how the vowels sound, are not subject to experience and learning?

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