Monday, January 14, 2008

Nature and Nurture

Man, it just keeps getting more complicated, the work being done in cognitive science with MRIs to track what brain areas light up when given different tasks or concepts. This study shows that, yeah, brain structure can differ among individuals, but similar brain structures can light up differently on the same tasks or concepts depending on what culture they were raised in. It’s not hard to see some enterprising young defense attorney using this as evidence that his/her client was a product of environment and that, given a different upbringing in a different culture a few miles away, the client would never have committed the crime. Therefore . . . what? I guess we’ll just have to wait on the defense attorney to see.

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