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Autoren: Evers, Kathinka
Titel: Can we be epigenetically proactive?
Online-Publikationsdatum: 26-Okt-2016
Sprache des Dokuments: Englisch
Zusammenfassung/Abstract: The human brain is an essentially evaluative organ endowed with reward systems engaged in learning and memory as well as in higher evaluative tendencies. Our innate species-specific, neuronally-based identity disposes us to develop universal evaluative tendencies, such as self-interest, control-orientation, dissociation, selective sympathy, empathy, and xenophobia. The combination of these tendencies may place us in a predicament. Our neuronal identity makes us social, but also individualistic and self-projective, with an emotional and intellectual engagement that is far more narrowly focused in space and time than the effects of our actions. However, synaptic epigenesis theories of cultural and social imprinting on our brain architecture suggest that there is a possibility of culturally influencing these predispositions. In an analysis of epigenesis by selective stabilisation of synapses, I discuss the relationships between genotype and brain phenotype: the paradox of non-linear evolution between genome and brain complexity; the selection of cultural circuits in the brain during development; and the genesis and epigenetic transmission of cultural imprints. I proceed to discuss the combinatorial explosion of brain representations, and the channelling of behaviour through “epigenetic rules” and top-down control of decision-making. In neurobiological terms, these “rules” are viewed as acquired patterns of connections (scaffoldings), hypothetically stored in frontal cortex long-term memory, which frame the genesis of novel representations and regulate decision-making in a top-down manner. Against that background I propose the possibility of being epigenetically proactive, and adapting our social structures, in both the short and the long term, to benefit, influence, and constructively interact with the ever-developing neuronal architecture of our brains.
DDC-Sachgruppe: 100 Philosophie
100 Philosophy
Veröffentlichende Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Organisationseinheit: FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Veröffentlichungsort: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-publ-550287
Version: Published version
Publikationstyp: Buchbeitrag
Nutzungsrechte: Urheberrechtsschutz
Informationen zu den Nutzungsrechten:
Quelle: Open MIND
Metzinger, Thomas
Seitenzahl oder Artikelnummer: Kap. 13(T)
Verlag: MIND Group
Verlagsort: Frankfurt am Main
Erscheinungsdatum: 2015
URL der Originalveröffentlichung:
DOI der Originalveröffentlichung: 10.15502/9783958570238
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