The study of human behavior has been going on for quite some time now, and the research concluded from these studies are quite remarkable.
To understand human behavior we must start from the point of infancy. From the developing stages of zygotes inside of the womb till birth, the Infants rely on the mother for nutrients for development. Infants who are born prematurely will often times end up in incubators or other machines for weeks or sometimes even months.
It is now known that if premature children are stroked on the back for at least 10 minutes a day will promote brain development. Human touch is essential for an infant to develop, and it is a true fact that infants who are never picked up will eventually die.Environment does not begin at birth; it begins as soon as you have an environment, as soon as you’re a fetus. You are subject to whatever information is coming through mom’s circulations. Hormones, levels of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, protein, etc.) many other factors take place developing within the womb and its environment. The point about human development and specifically human brain development is that it occurs mostly under the impact of the environment and mostly after birth. If you compare us to an animal such as a horse which can run on the first day of life, we see that we are very much undeveloped.
We can’t utilize that much neurological coordination balance, muscle strength, visual acuity until a year and a half-two years of age. This is has to do with simple evolutionary logic. The horse will develop its brain in the safety of the womb, thus having the neurological brain capacity to be able to walk and coordinate much faster than a human being. Brain development for a human being happens after birth. In a British study women who were abused during pregnancy will have larger amounts of the stress hormone called cortisol in their placenta during childbirth, studies showed that their kids will probably have conditions that incline them to addictions by age 7 or 8. A study in Israeli done on kids born to mothers who were pregnant preceding the onset of the 1967 war. The women were very stressed and their offspring have a higher incidence of schizophrenia than the average cohort.
So, there is plenty of evidence now that suggest prenatal effects have a huge impact on the developing human being. British child physiatrist doctor by the name of Donald Winnicott said that basically, two things can go wrong a kids childhood. One is when things happen that shouldn’t happen, and the other is when things should happen but don’t.There is a significant way in which early experiences shape adult behavior, and even and especially early experiences for which there is no recall memory.
It turns out that there are two kinds of memory. There is explicit memory which is recall memory. This is when you can call back facts, details, episodes, facts or conditions. The structure in the brain which is called the hippocampus which encodes recall memory doesn’t even begin to develop fully until a year and a half and it is not fully developed until much later. This is why hardly anybody has any recall memory before 18 months. There is another kind of memory which is called implicit memory which is in fact, an emotional memory where the emotional impact and understanding the child makes of those emotional experiences are deeply stuck in inside the brain in the form of nerve circuits ready to fire without specific recall. A good example would be people who are adopted have a lifelong sense of rejection very often.
They can’t recall the adoption. They can’t recall the separation of the birth mother because there’s nothing there to recall with, but the emotional memory of separation and rejection is deeply embedded in their brains. Hence, they are much more likely to experience a sense of rejection and a great emotional upset when they perceive themselves as being rejected by other people. Genes are not just things that make us behave in a particular way regardless of our environment. Genes give us different ways of responding to our environment. In fact it looks as if some of the early childhood experiences and influences affect gene expression, actually turning on or off different genes to put you on a different developmental track which may suit the kind of world you’ve got to deal with. A study was done in Montreal with suicide victims; they looked at autopsies of the brains of these people.
It turned out that if a suicide victim which usually ended up being young adults had been abused as children, the abuse actually caused a genetic change in the brain that was absent in the brains of people who had not been abused. That is a result of an epigenetic effect. The term Epi means on top of, so that the epigenetic influence is what happens environmentally to either activate or deactivate certain genes.
To conclude all this information we must understand that human behavior is started from conception, developing inside the mother’s womb. Love and nurture is essential for the child to develop. Abuse and neglect will lead a child to activate or deactivate certain genes, and the life of the child can completely change. The child will develop and become what it has been subject to environmentally and genetically. Human behavior is a field of study that answers a lot of questions about criminal behavior or even human interaction amongst society which in turn helps us better understand why human s are the way they are.