Robert Sapolsky – Complementarity between genes and environment

I just finished episode 16Behavior Genetics and Prenatal Environment. It is eye opening and if you want to spend 30min on learning something really freakin’ interesting watch it. It goes into the importance of pre-natal environment and how some traits are inherited without genes (like obesity, metabolic syndrome, anxiety, etc), inheritance numbers (like, human height is 95% inherited) and what do they actually mean, the interaction or should I say complementarity between genes and environment (which especially important if we talk about sport ‘talent’ and experts development, nature versus nurture, etc). If you also manage, read these two articles, and you are soon going to realize that we need more ‘complex dynamic’ models of expert development, since it is not the genes and it is not the environment solely, but their complex and complementary interaction.

  1. Phillips E, Davids K, Renshaw I, Portus M. Expert performance in sport and the dynamics of talent development. Sports Med. 2010 Apr 1;40(4):271-83. Abstract
  2. Davids K, Baker J. Genes, environment and sport performance: why the nature-nurture dualism is no longer relevant. Sports Med. 2007;37(11):961-80. Abstract.


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