The debate between Nature and Nurture within psychology is a great concern to a large extent, particularly in regards to the extent to which selected aspects of behavior are a product of either acquired (learned characteristics) or inherited (genetic). All aspects of human behavior are in one way or another affected by both nurture and nature (N & N). To start with, it is coherent to first differentiate the two terms; Nurture is a term that refers to all environmental influences after conception which in this case could be an experience, while Nature basically is that which is generic or inherited (Hockenbury, 2011, p. 18). At this point of view behavioral differences and psychological characteristics of differences emerging through childhood and infancy are the result of learning.
This means that nurture (how you are brought up) governs all the psychologically significant aspects of childhood as well as the concept of maturation which applies solitary to the biological influences. Therefore, it is worth noting that though both Nature and Nurture is important in defining behavior, Nurture which is entirely associated with the environment is the biggest determinant and the ultimate aspect among the two that can define behavior comprehensively. From the behavioral perspective, the focus is entirely on environmental factors (Nurture) that account for functional, conflict and symbolic interactions. For instance in my case, as a kid, in my early years I had serious setbacks for rational development. However over time, all this immensely changed immediately after these damages were counteracted with magnificent environmental contributions as years passed. It therefore evident from this scenario that despite Nature defining my abilities and inabilities, Nurture which in this case refers to my earlier environmental predicaments was the biggest determinant of my behavior and development.
NOVA’s explanatory video on mirror neurons defines mirror neurons as the nerves that act as neural basis for our ability to comprehend and understand the actions of others it also outlines the basic thinking behind the functioning of cells. Provocative discoveries particularly in brain imaging suggest that we constantly imitate any activity we are observing and ‘act out’. Mirror neurons are coherent as they enable us to imitate what we see and also help us understand critically the actions of others. They are usually associated with physical activities and are possibly responsible for the emotional system of the human brain which allows us to sympathize with other people. These findings comprehensively explain why we feel pain when we watch someone get smacked with a Frisbee in the face (Elmes, 2012, p. 63).
Neuroscientist Daniel Glaser of University College of London in the Monkey Do, Monkey See audio interview using ballet dancers illustrates the ‘mirror neuron system’ stating that mirror neurons could be useful in the future especially in the treatment of everything except autism and spinal injuries. He uses two contrasting dance styles to illustrate two different dancing styles. The Ballet which is a classical group that understands various moves even when written down in French and does exactly what they are requested to do. On the other hand, Capoeira a Brazilian Martial art is made up of simple movements that have standard names that can be written down. These dancers understand similar repertoire of moves. Watching these dances, a certain part of our brain which controls movements is actually more excited with the style done by the dancers than the style they were unable to do.
‘Neuroscience for kids and adults’ website is a fun page website that educates children and adults on the functions and importance of the brain. It contains useful information that is put into terms for adults and children to relate. There is a catching section in the website for children, the activities section that is particularly aimed for k-12 ages that caught me thinking and made me realize I literally knew less about the brain than I thought I did (Yager, 2008, p. 18). In that section was a coloring book on the different sections and parts of the brain that could be so helpful to memorize various locations of the different parts of the brain.
Hockenbury, D. H., & Hockenbury, S. E. (2011). Discovering psychology. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Elmes, D. G., Kantowitz, B. H., & Roediger, H. L. (2012). Research methods in psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Yager, R. E., & Falk, J. H. (2008). Exemplary science in informal education settings: Standards- based success stories. Arlington, Va: NSTA Press.