The American Association for the Advancement of Science: Brain Study Reveals Roots of Personality
Connor, Steve, The Independent (London, England)
THE FIRST hard evidence that nature may play a bigger role than nurture in forming human personality emerged at the weekend.
Scientists who studied brain- wave patterns in babies a few months old found that fussy babies who fidget and are hard to soothe are likely to become shy and withdrawn children with behavioural problems in later life.
The controversial research into the genetic basis of childhood behaviour was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco. It shows that children with a certain pattern of electrical activity in the brain are significantly more prone to becoming shy and introverted. A parallel study demonstrates that genes play a role in deciding which type of personality a child will have.
Nathan Fox, professor of human development at the University of Maryland at College Park, said babies with a high state of electrical activity on the right frontal lobe of the brain are more likely to be shy and introverted than babies with stronger brain-wave patterns on the left frontal lobe. "We are now able to predict, based on an infant's behaviour and the physiological activity of his brain, which child is likely to be shy and withdrawn at the age of two," he said. "Our studies go up to the age of seven and we feel confident we've identified a physiological pattern that reflects activity on different sides of the brain which are markers or fingerprints for personality."
The research involved testing 400 children with tapes of recorded speech, moving mobiles and cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to see their reactions. About 20 per cent became unduly aroused and fearful, and this group tended to have electrical excitability in the right side of their …
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Publication information: Article title: The American Association for the Advancement of Science: Brain Study Reveals Roots of Personality. Contributors: Connor, Steve - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: February 21, 1994. Page number: Not available. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.