The Silliness that Is Epigenetics

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With medical, physiological and biological getting much better very quickly, there are all sorts of rear-guard attacks on the inarguable determinism.  The idea that everyday effects can change the genes, along with brain plasticity are two of the most popular.  These are not science-based but designed to sooth pop fears about.

Here we dispense with epigenetics: Continue reading

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“..converging lines of evidence suggest that exposure to novelty and addictive drugs may involve overlapping neural networks, which may explain why individuals who seek out novelty may also engage in drug-taking.”

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Low Dopamine = Aggressive, Distracted Behavior

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“People with lower levels of the brain chemical dopamine are more likely to be highly aggressive in competitive situations, a small new study indicates.

During the game, participants with lower levels of dopamine were more distracted from their attempts to win money and were more likely to show aggressive behavior,”

Dopamine

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“Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found evidence that an emotion–related brain region called the central amygdala – whose activity promotes feelings of malaise and unhappiness – plays a major role in sustaining cocaine addiction. In experiments with rats, the TSRI researchers found signs that cocaine–induced changes in this brain system contribute to anxiety–like behavior and other unpleasant symptoms of drug withdrawal—symptoms that typically drive an addict to keep using. When the researchers blocked specific brain receptors called kappa opioid receptors in this key anxiety–mediating brain region, the rats’ signs of addiction abated.”