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March 16, 2010


Joe Markowitz

I seriously doubt that there are any significant differences between brains of different nationalities or ethnicities at birth. Differences on an individual level, sure, as you point out, but I have not heard of any evidence that there is a Chinese brain or a French brain or any other kind of brain at birth. But of course the cultural environment starts shaping people's personalities from the moment of birth forward, and these differences will show up in the brain. So I think we have to be careful to make clear that these cross-cultural differences we are talking about are not genetic, or at least that we have no evidence to suggest that they are genetic.


Thanks for your comment, Joe. I think there is much we don't know yet. We do know that the environment helps to shape our brains as well as influence which of our genes will be active. It will be interesting to see what science finds.

Whether there is a difference at birth is what the author of the TUFTS article seemed to be asking. Of course, I don't know the answer.

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