Yesterday, I started out composing an email to the PsyArt listserv about the intergenerational transmission of childhood trauma via epigenetic (gene/environment) interactions as well as new linguistic research that upends our notions about language functions contained in the classic areas of the frontal and temporal lobes of the left hemisphere, called Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas respectively. PsychCentral.com provided fodder with Douglas Eby's posting, "Brain Differences and Creativity."
From here, I started researching savant syndrome and read a long article about extremely unusual savants with incredible powers of mind, including Kim Peek, the real “Rain Man,” whom Dustin Hoffman brought to life so convincingly in the film.
In Coast-to-Coast's late-night radio interview, philosopher Stephen F. Braude was talking in learned terms about mediumistic contact with the dead: is it just telepathy with the living or do verifiable "drop ins" intrude sometimes, hoping to clear up mysteries about their deaths?
All of the above came together with my ongoing research into the special abilities of the right hemisphere, once erroneously known as "the silent" hemisphere.
Let's summarize these findings:
Childhood trauma, whether in utero, at birth, or in the early years of life, physically changes the brain. We’ve long known that child abuse is intergenerational: a traumatized child can become a traumatizing adult. What I didn’t know is that brain changes can alter genes that can then be transmitted to the next generation. Both nature (genes) and nurture (parental care, especially in the first two years) play important roles. Dr. Allan Schore has been my guiding light on attachment theory. He is a rare neuropsychologist who takes the time to answer emails and sends articles, book chapters, and suggested readings to further my understanding.
Christopher Taylor can also read upside down or sideways and is a hyperpolyglot. Although he lives in an institution for the mentally challenged, he has learned 20 languages from reading books and newspapers, as well as from real life experiences.