T Nation

Is The Neurotype Hereditary?

Is the type hereditary?
Can parents have an active influence on the formation of the neurotype through specific upbringing?

Yes to both.

There is an hereditary component but what you do in the ealier years of your life can also have a profound impact.

For example take dopamine sensitivity. Most kids nowadays have less and less dopamine sensitivity which makes them less motivated, less driven, tend to give up easily, etc.

One of the reasons is dopaminergic overstimulation from screens (flat screen TV, smart phones, laptops, etc.). They produce blue light which is a strong dopaminergic receptor stimulator. In an adult abuse of these devices can desensitize the dopaminergic receptors, which is bad enough but can be reversed but in a very young child (0-5 years of age, even more so from 0-2) overexposure to blue light stimulation could permanently damage the dopamine receptors.

Food selection can also play an impact. A lot of transformed foods, fast foods and frozen meals containt either glutamate (MSG) or L-glutamic acid. A diet too rich in those choices (especially at a young age) can lead to elevated glutamate levels which can lead to big mood swings, an overly emotional personality, taking everything personal, etc.

Note that a diet high in sugar will also increase glutamate production in the brain.

And the way the kid is brought up can obviously play a big role.

For example the kid needs to have a lot of time where he can experiment for himself. Yes he needs time which his parents and be in their arms, and sleep with them (these are actually good to develop the serotonin system). But he also need time where he is free to do whatever he wants and make choices. For example, every morning I put all of my son’s toys on the floor and he decides with what he wants to play with. Once in a while I will pop in and play with him.

I also believe in offering as many different stimuli to the kid, this will also help with creativity by increasing his accumulated information. Things that he can later retrieve and use to come up with new solutions.

This is essential for the development of creativity and thus the acetylcholine system. Here nutrition also has some importance. Foods rich in choline can help the development of the acetylcholine system.

When he eats, my son eats by himself (he is 10 months old). We put all his food on a plate in front of him and he eats what he wants. We did use a spoon for the first 6 weeks or so but as soon as he showed a desire to eat by himself we did that. Again, develops two key things: 1) fine motor skills (which is highly correlated with brain development) and 2) the capacity to make his own choices.

I also believe that how the parents act with the kid is of prime importance for the development of the brain, especially from 0-2. For example an overprotective parent who feaks out when the baby tries to stand up or approaches the stairs is likely doing the kid a diservice. Sure you don’t want the baby to risk serious harm. But I believe that is important that they try, fail, try again, that’s how you build resiliency and the dopamine system. Furthermore when the kid falls and start crying, how the parent reacts will have an impact on brain programing. If the parents panics, becomes tensed or even is overly protective the kid’s brain register that this was dangerous. When my kid falls and start crying I act as if nothing bad happened, if anything I turn it into something funny… he will often burst in laughter while he is still crying, which is quite funny, and a few seconds later he is happy again. I believe that instead of trying to console a baby it’s a better approach to try to make him laugh or change his focus. For example let’s say that Jayden bangs his head because the dogs made him lose balance. He starts crying. I put him in front of the bathroom mirror and he imediately becomes curious about why there is another daddy in front of him and why there is a second baby. He stops crying and he smiles.

The parent is the model. He is the COACH! If you play football and you see your coach freaking out or losing control on the sidelines, you will panic too.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m working on a seminar called “Your kid sucks and it’s your fault” that will adress how to optimize human potential from childbirth to professional level.

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Thank You, this is both motivating and frightening, my son is 1,6 years old and I hope I can make better parental choices while is not to late.
Best wishes for Jayden!

This info is golden.

All this stuff is so important, thank you CT!

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It’s not too late. Nobody is perfect. I made several easy mistakes at first, like watching the news on TV when I first fed him in the morning so he was able to watch the screen.

This info is golden.
All this stuff is so important, thank you CT!


Never thought that most electronical screens have such a strong negative impact on the dopamine system. How much is “allowed” or “okay” for normal adults? Are the negative effects the same or different for each neurotype?

Only 20 y right now, I really hope I remember that stuff again when Im a parent.

It’s hard to establish a precise amount since we all vary in our regular dopamine sensitivity. Two simple strategies you can use is no flat screen TV, smart phone, tablet or laptop past 8pm and have one day a week where you don’t use these devices.

What is Your opinion on usefulness of apps that suppose to filter blue light? F.lux for example.

I honestly can’t say. Haven’t seen the science or tried it. I know that blue light blocking goggles work pretty well.

I’ve got blue light blocking glasses since I listened to the last podcast and what a HUGE difference thank you. I feel so much better with them than without!

To your point about developing the acetylcholine system, anecdotally, my mom always believed really strongly in giving my brother and I lots of exposure to different stimuli and lots of choices. Maybe that’s part of why I grew up to a 1B and my brother a 2A.

How does exposure to childhood trauma affect neurotypes? E.g. having alcoholic or drug addict or personality disorder or absent or criminal parents?