What makes you the way you are—and what makes each of us different from everyone else? In Innate, leading neuroscientist and popular science blogger Kevin Mitchell traces human diversity and individual differences to their deepest level: in the wiring of our brains. Deftly guiding us through important new research, including his own groundbreaking work, he explains how variations in the way our brains develop before birth strongly influence our psychology and behavior throughout our lives, shaping our personality, intelligence, sexuality, and even the way we perceive the world.
We all share a genetic program for making a human brain, and the program for making a brain like yours is specifically encoded in your DNA. But, as Mitchell explains, the way that program plays out is affected by random processes of development that manifest uniquely in each person, even identical twins. The key insight of Innate is that the combination of these developmental and genetic variations creates innate differences in how our brains are wired—differences that impact all aspects of our psychology—and this insight promises to transform the way we see the interplay of nature and nurture.
Innate also explores the genetic and neural underpinnings of disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and epilepsy, and how our understanding of these conditions is being revolutionized. In addition, the book examines the social and ethical implications of these ideas and of new technologies that may soon offer the means to predict or manipulate human traits.
Compelling and original, Innate will change the way you think about why and how we are who we are.
The book begins by examining the genetic architecture and etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders. It describes the striking recent progress in identifying pathogenic mutations, which are grouped here based on the neurodevelopmental processes impacted. Subsequent chapters consider the use of cellular and animal models to elucidate the cascading consequences of such mutations, from molecular and cellular levels to emergent effects on neural circuits, brain systems and subsequent psychological development. The text concludes by examining the important clinical implications of the recent advances in the field, from recognition of the genetic causes in individual patients to development of new treatments and interventions.
A timely synthesis, The Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders is a unique and essential resource for neuroscientists, geneticists, neurologists and psychiatrists and an accessible and up-to-date overview for medical and science students.
We have all experienced the connection between our mind and our gut—the decision we made because it “felt right”; the butterflies in our stomach before a big meeting; the anxious stomach rumbling when we’re stressed out. While the dialogue between the gut and the brain has been recognized by ancient healing traditions, including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, Western medicine has failed to appreciate the complexity of how the brain, gut, and more recently, the microbiome—the microorganisms that live inside us—communicate with one another. In The Mind-Gut Connection, Dr. Emeran Mayer, executive director of the UCLA Center for Neurobiology of Stress, offers a revolutionary look at this developing science, teaching us how to harness the power of the mind-gut connection to take charge of our health.
The Mind-Gut Connection shows how to keep the brain-gut communication clear and balanced to:
• heal the gut by focusing on a plant-based diet
• balance the microbiome by consuming fermented foods and probiotics, fasting, and cutting out sugar and processed foods
• promote weight loss by detoxifying and creating healthy digestion and maximum nutrient absorption
• boost immunity and prevent the onset of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and
• generate a happier mindset and reduce fatigue, moodiness, anxiety, and depression
• prevent and heal GI disorders such as leaky gut syndrome, food sensitivities and allergies, and IBS, as well as digestive discomfort such as heartburn and bloating
• and much more.
The interaction between the generally reasonable, rational, ethical, moral conscious mind and the repressed feelings of emotional pain, hurt, sadness, and anger characteristic of the unconscious mind appears to be the basis for mindbody disorders. The Divided Mind traces the history of psychosomatic medicine, including Freud's crucial role, and describes the psychology responsible for the broad range of psychosomatic illness. The failure of medicine's practitioners to recognize and appropriately treat mindbody disorders has produced public health and economic problems of major proportions in the United States.
One of the most important aspects of psychosomatic phenomena is that knowledge and awareness of the process clearly have healing powers. Thousands of people have become pain-free simply by reading Dr. Sarno's previous books. How and why this happens is a fascinating story, and is revealed in The Divided Mind.