Hi Everybody, As archaeologists, we’re fascinated by the “nature” vs. “nurture” question. Is our nature (our soul, our genes) more important to who we are, and especially to who we become, or is our environment and the way we’re raised (nurture) more important? Is a child a “tabula rasa? A recent study by the University of California at Berkeley provides food for thought. Here’s the issue: The study found that the actual structure of the brain is different in children from poor families. The prefrontal cortex which controls reasoning skills does not function as efficiently. Why? Dr. Robert Knight, UC Berkeley professor of psychology, says that, “Kids from lower socioeconomic levels show brain physiology patterns similar to someone who actually had damage in the frontal lobe as an adult.” Do you think the stressful environment and the nutritional deficiencies endured by impoverished children around the world might be responsible for this physiological phenomenon? Or is being impoverished the price of this physiological phenomenon? You might to read this entire article before you respond. It’s an interesting read: berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2008/12/02_cortex.shtml. For those of you with a scientific background, do you think the study adequately took into account all the possible contributing factors? Regards, Kathleen and Michael As