Here’s a pop quiz to test how well you know your brain-wiring basics. Check the links to learn more about areas you need some brushing up on.
1. True or False?
a. T __ F__ Our brains are hardwired from birth
b. T __ F__The fate of our DNA is written in stone from the moment of conception
a. False: Until recently, scientists believed that with the exception of limited tweaking possible through parental nurturing, enriched growth environments, and education, our brains were essentially hardwired. But new scientific data has shown that this is not the case. In fact, every waking moment, our brains are being wired and re-wired. This occurs either with our permission, intentionally, or without our approval, accidentally, based on repetition of our thoughts, emotions and behavior.
b. False: Again, only in the past several years have geneticists discovered that we do actively participate in coding our DNA – no special degrees or lab coat required. From conception, everything that occurs inside or around us sends a neurochemical message to our genome telling it which genes to switch on and which to suppress. This even occurs while we are still in the womb! Whatever we eat, drink, think, feel, or do, instantly informs our DNA about which kinds of cells to make and what to do with them.