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There is no such thing as a Brain. It’s a Brain Burger.

British pediatrician D. Winnicott used to say:

“There is no such thing as a baby. There is a baby and someone.”

The same applies to brains. Our brains do not operate independently of relationships, which are conditioned by the environment in which we live.Continue Reading →

“Snakes and Ladders”: the game of psychological evolution

In the animated movie “The Croodz” set in prehistoric times, a grumpy grandmother hears the definition of a pet (“It’s an animal you don’t eat”) and responds, bewildered,  “We call those: children.”Continue Reading →

What was the climate of our childhoods?

Most people think of childhoods as either happy or sad, sunny or stormy. That’s probably because most of us think of our own upbringing as a rather sunny one (see what Alice Miller has to say about this), and a few have shared or have heard friends share traumatic experiences – so we know stormy ones exist, too. The one type of childhood environment I have rarely ever heard people describe is overcast. Is it because it doesn’t exist, or is it a blind spot, not worthy of discussion? If we turn out sane enough, that logic goes, we might as well consider ourselves lucky enough and get on with life.Continue Reading →

In which country would you have liked your brain to be manufactured?

“There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” ” – David Foster Wallace

Around the world, we raise human beings each swimming in our cultural ponds of beliefs, values and habits. They feel so natural we do not even notice them. The clearest way to see our environment is to compare it to others. Researchers over the past years have set out to ask parents from different countries a few questions about how they help their infants’ brains develop.Continue Reading →

“Calmer Together”: why united we stand while divided we fall

When we try to understand the well-being of a country’s population, there is a powerful explaining variable beyond GDP per head that correlates with many significant indicators of:

  • Health (such as life expectancy, infant mortality, prevalence of obesity, mental illness)
  • Human capital (math & literacy scores, teenage births, high school drop outs), and
  • Social relations (homicide, imprisonment and others)

Continue Reading →

Pro- what kind of life?

A few days after the Women’s March on Washington, the new US administration banned public funding for national and international health groups that perform or even discuss abortion. I am distraught by the immense ramifications of such decisions on humanity: they significantly harm women’s health, gender equality, families’ well-being, and the health of future generations. Here’s why.Continue Reading →