Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

Olufemi.Nazsira's picture

Nervous System and Genetics?

What I am still grappling with is if the interneuron interactions which occur within the nervous system are responsible for our behavior, how do we explain the significance of genetics in shaping our personalities? Often we inherit our parents' traits, and occasionally even grandparents' as genes can skip generations; for instance I know that to a certain extent, a few of my sisters (self included) inherited our father's temper. We know that certain behaviors are genetic while others are learned; the notion that our dispositions might have been influenced by our father's behavior seems logical, but he passed while we were still infants, so this problematizes that quite a bit. So, as far as genetic behavior is concerned, how does this intersect with the concept of our nervous system being solely/primarily responsible for our behavior? Even if we do in fact possess all of the same essential elements, difference in behavior must be attributed to more than merely the arrangement of our neurons, right?

The following article might help clarify my confusion:  

While Professor Tim Spector, of the Twin Research Unit at St Thomas' Hospital, London, thinks there might be evidence of a genetic component to infidelity, he also supplies that there is no one singular gene but rather that several genes working in concert is probably the culprit for such behavior.

To counter, Dr. Petra Boynton emphasizes that is it difficult to discern learned and inherited behavior and that infidelity is more likely to be attributed to socialization and previous experiences than genetics.


To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
5 + 4 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.