My Brilliant Brain: Born Genius

What determines our essence? Nurture or nature? Genes or environment? It's been understood in the scientific community for a while now that the answer is "yes." No trait can be traced back exclusively to genetic nor to purely environmental factors; the answer is always a combination of both. The question that does remain concerns the ratio of influence of these factors with respect to each other, and the answer will inevitably vary depending on the person and the traits in question, so there's never an easy answer.

In this documentary, psychologists and neuroscientists study the brain of Marc Yu, a seven-year-old concert pianist with prodigious musical talent. Further studies on the brains of other children reveal insightful information regarding the processes of brain development and, on a more practical and pedagogical level, some of the things parents can do to help foster their own children's abilities, such as teaching them Cantonese!

As you'll see, Marc's mother is a truly inspiring example of great parenting and the lengths to which a parent can be a positive influence on his or her children. If you have kids, this is a must-watch.

Remember, use it or lose it. If your children are not stimulated, their brains will probably lose some of their ability to perform certain tasks.

Although people like Mozart may have a better starting point than most of us, it is their untiring dedication and hard work that helps their brains produce the proper neural connections that can lead them to true greatness. Fatalism is never the answer.

To learn more about the fascinating relationship between music and the brain, as well as the relationship between tone languages and musical ability, check out this truly amazing entry of a RadioLab episode on the neuroscience of music. Your brain will explode in pleasure.
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