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To day we talk about evolution of species where in human brain we identify reptilian, mammalian and human brain.
Above shows how our emotions, endocrine/hormonal processes and basic behaviors are created in our Limbic systems (mammalian brain), preferably in our spatial, not conscious construct memory systems in complex integrated processes not well understood – so far. What is to notice is that we can be more or less controlled by old brain (reptile and mammalian/Limbic) systems, which react very fast in difference from new human brain which react slower, where rational, reasoning-based decisions are preferably made. Mostly we assume that mostly both systems interact but with different degree of dominance, where old brain dominant behaviors are not conscious but we can be conscious of it almost direct or later due to its consequences.
We do talk about the evolution of culture (see e.g. https://www.edge.org/conversation/the-evolution-of-culture) much in the same way but in an abstract sense based on memes in stead of genes, http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/MEMGEN.html
But how nature and culture interact has not been understood until recently when the conceptualization of epigenics enter and formulate an interfacing mechanism system, see e.g. definition https://www.whatisepigenetics.com/what-is-epigenetics/ and more complex http://jeb.biologists.org/content/218/21/3368.
What is the consequences of the above? In one way as we earlier have assumed, that is, genes and environment interact. The difference now is that we in more detail begin to understand the interacting mechanism and its complex processes, which give us valuable information bout how we ourselves can via our biopsychosocial-cultural behaviors can conduct more and more such integration – not only as a conductor of an orchestra but also be a part of the composition of the music. One metaphor is that we play on the piano where the keys are the genes. We can by that to some extent control gene expressions!
Below I will give some examples, where the ultimate challenge is the placebo and nocebo mechanisms and processes which now are beginning to be understood in a new “way” thanks to the new “light” – the nature of epigenic processes! A highly dramatic placebo case you can find at http://biopsychosocialmedicine.com/projects/rd-international-projects-2/placebo-rd/cases/the-1957-placebo-case-the-krebozen-story/
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