Dick Swaab

Dick Swaab is professor emeritus of neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam and was for thirty years director of the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research. He found international fame with his work on sex differences in the brain, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Swaab has published in a wide range of media, including the authoritative Nature and Science.

We Are Our Brains

We Are Our Brains

Van baarmoeder tot Alzheimer

(Contact, 2010, 480 pages)

For many years the prevailing belief in the developed world has been that upbringing determines what a child will become. Everything that can go wrong in later life is therefore the fault of the parents and, more broadly, society. The same train of thought suggests that many illnesses can be blamed on unhealthy lifestyles and therefore on the patient. In We Are Our Brains Dick Swaab presents evidence that contradicts this belief, claiming that everything about us – including the diseases that will affect our minds – is present in our neuronal circuits long before we are born. Upbringing and therapy have little influence.

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