1. True or False?
a. T __ F__The brain we get at birth is hardwired from birth
b. T __ F__Our fate of our DNA is written in stone from the moment of conception
a. False: Until very recently scientists believed the answer was True, with the exception of limited tweaking we could do with the nurturing of parents, enriched intellectual and physical environments, and education. Now? We know, based on solid scientific data, that every waking moment, our brains are being wired and re-wired, 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 which occurs inside or around us sends a neurochemical message to our genome telling it which genes to switch on and which to suppress. Whatever we eat, drink, think, feel, or do, instantly informs our DNA which kinds of cells to make and what to do with them.
2. Which of the following are true? Like on a hit of cocaine or amphetamines, our Animal (Mammalian) Brains light up when we:
___ acquire money
___ have sex
___ play sports
___ compete at work
___ hear a cellphone ringtone
___ play video games
___ eat potato chips
___ have a soft drink
___ see something new
___ do something risky
___ get into an argument
___ solve a problem
___ are confronted by a threat
___ receive positive recognition
___ receive negative recognition
All are True, which makes it easy to see why humans, especially those of us with so many of these options readily available, are inclined to get ourselves into trouble. To varying degrees, the entire list pumps out our own, natural opiate peptide, dopamine, no dealers, no limits, no laws, no cost. Addictive? You already know the answer to that one!