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Title: Genetics and learning: how the genes influence educational attainment
Author: Bueno i Torrens, David, 1965-
Keywords: Epigenètica
Medi ambient
Adaptació (Biologia)
Natural environment
Adaptation (Biology)
Issue Date: 10-Jul-2019
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Abstract: The brain is the organ of thought. The word thought is defined as the act of thinking about or considering something: an idea or opinion, or a set of ideas about a particular subject. It implicitly includes the processes of learning. Mental functions, including most if not all aspects of human behavior, such as those related to learning, arise from the activity of the brain. Neural connections that generate and support mental functions are formed throughout life, which enables lifelong learning of new concepts and skills. Both brain formation and function, as well as neural plasticity, are influenced by the activity of a variety of genes and also by epigenetic modifications, which contribute to the regulation of gene expression by adapting it to environmental conditions. In this review, aimed especially at education professionals, I discuss the genetic and epigenetic contributions to mental aspects related to learning processes in terms of heritability. I will argue that, despite most if not all aspects related to learning having a clear genetic background, innate abilities can be enhanced or diminished through educational processes. Thus, the importance of education, in the context of the inheritability of learning processes, will be discussed. The conclusion I draw is that, despite the relatively high genetic heritability shown in most brain processes associated with learning, educational practices are a key contributor to student development, allowing genetically based skills to be enhanced or alternatively diminished. Therefore one of the main goals of education in a changing an uncertain world should be to form adaptable and versatile people who can, and want to, make the most of their capabilities. Thus, knowledge derived from genetics and epigenetics, as well as from neuroscience, should be used to enhance education professionals' understanding of the biological origins of differences in mental capabilities, thereby empowering them with the possibility to adopt more respectful and flexible educational practices to attain the goal mentioned above.
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It is part of: Frontiers in Psychology, 2019, vol. 10, p. 1622
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ISSN: 1664-1078
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Genètica, Microbiologia i Estadística)

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