In the messiness of determining why and how people are who they are, Innate: How the Wiring of Our Brains Shapes Who We Are, by Kevin J. Mitchell, feels like a lucid, up-to-the-minute account of the human mind. Mitchell, a neuroscientist, blogger, and associate professor at Trinity College Dublin, explores the diversity of our brains, explaining how we become different individuals despite using the same genetic blueprint.

Beginning from the foundations of our DNA, Mitchell blends our sometimes-= black-and-white understanding of nature vs. nurture, building a framework for the reader to understand how our biological code manifests itself to shape anything from genetic influences on schizophrenia and epilepsy, to abstract traits of personality and intelligence. In considering the social, ethical, and philosophical implications of the accumulation of scientific discoveries, Mitchell changes the paradigm of what truly defines human nature.

Read More… Humankind’s “Cognitive Niche” Gave Us Culture, Says Author of ‘Innate’

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