2 min readBreakthrough study shows defining traits are forged the moment we’re born

This June 10, 2021 article published by Frontiers, Suzanna Burgelman, summarizes the results of a new study that attempts to understand the link between functional brain network connectivity and behavioral temperament among newborns and babies.

The research found that “neural connections in our brains that determine human behavioral traits are already present from birth and are unique to each individual”. Co-author Dr. Toby Grossmann, of the University of Virginia, says, “this is the first study, to demonstrate that connectivity for this specific brain network develops early in human infancy and plays a role in accounting for individual differences in emerging self-regulation and control skills among infants.”

The original study may be accessed through Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Editor’s Note: Take note that while the study authors think that they can now pinpoint which “neural connections” can be translated into specific behaviors, these results are temporary, given the reality that the human brain is plastic and neural connections can change drastically over the course of one’s life [see HOW THE BRAIN CHANGES AND REORGANIZES ITSELF].

Even a fairly irritable child can learn to be a mild-mannered adult [see WHAT IS POSITIVE NEUROPLASTICITY?]

What makes this study valuable is that it confirms that every human being is a unique individual. The study also confirms to us that this uniqueness and potential are already present from birth. We come on this earth with our unique personalities which can be enhanced or curtailed by our environment.

For parents, this study signals the importance of creating a protected and nurturing environment for their children. It shows the importance of age-appropriate education, and an education that empowers children to challenge their “wiring and programming” so that they become better adults.

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