Posts tagged with nature-nurture
July 2, 2009 by Evie Bentley.
DNA analysis of thousands of people in three separate studies has shown that the disorder is linked to the interaction of a large number of genetic variants on chromosome 6, in an area called the Major Histocompatability Complex which has one role in the immune system and another in controlling the switching on or off of other genes.
How many variants are there? Well, over 30,000 were identified as being much more common in schizophrenics than non-schizophrenics apart from people with bipolar disorder.
So not only is the genetics of schizophrenia far more complex than had been thought, environmental influences are also involved, but there could be a previously unexpected overlap between the two psychopathologies, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression).
September 26, 2008 by Evie Bentley.
Suppose you had an awful experience, something traumatic which shook you up and upset you deeply. What would the effects of that be? How would you cope? Would you be able to deal with your memories, or would you have flashbacks, panic attacks, feel unable to get on with your life?
Researchers in Germany and the USA have been studying why some people develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) but others, in the same traumatic circumstances, don’t get the disorder and manage to cope with just bad memories.
The answer appears to be nature, not nurture, and is linked to one of the permissive amines, dopamine. Read the rest of this entry »
July 18, 2008 by Cara Flanagan.
Speaking of nature and nurture, there is a three part series starting this week on BBC 1, called The Making of Me. It looks at three well known people – the hurdler Colin Jackson, the violin virtuoso Vanessa Mae and the gay star of Torchwood, John Barrowman – and asks ‘What made these people, was it their genes or was it events during their childhood which determined their unusual skills and attributes’? The first programme is on Thursday 25 July. If you are reading this in September you might still be able to pick the programmes up on BBCi or try psychclips.
July 17, 2008 by Evie Bentley.
Nature – the great outdoors, trees, sky, flowers, water – has a psychological and physiological effect which can help lower stress levels; at least that is what researchers at the University of Washington have demonstrated. They had student participants who completed quite difficult mental tests. During these tests some had a view of trees and grass through the window, whilst others had the same view but on a huge plasma screen. The students were also linked up to heart monitors. All the students glanced up at the real life or televised view, but those with the real view through windows lowered their heart rates, which relate to their stress levels, the most.
So why don’t we all try and get a glimpse of the natural world, especially if we are working hard, anxious or worried, generally stressed, and see if this can help us manage our stress better?