Former University Of Virginia Professor Irving I. Gottesman Died at 85; Nature vs. Nurture Links To Mental Illness and Human Development?


Due to the hopes of uncovering the causes of schizophrenia, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia studied the oldest arguments in the history of psychology, Nature vs. Nurture.

Nature vs. Nurture debate includes discussion where each side has good points, thus making hard to decide whether a person's development is predisposed in his DNA, or his development is totally based on the influenced by this life experience and his environment. Both nature and nurture play big roles in human development, however, it is a mystery whether majority of the human development is influenced by nature or nurture.

A former UVA psychology professor, Irving I. Gottesman, hoped to uncover the causes one of the mental disorders in the United States, schizophrenia, which is still widely misunderstood. In a 1991 interview with The Daily Progress, the former professor said he wants people to understand that this mental disorder should be thought of in the same way as other diseases like diabetes or heart disease.

Gottesman was a pioneer and an ambassador in the field of behavioral genetics. He died on Wednesday, June 29, at the age of 85, leaving behind a wife, Carol, and two sons, Adam and David, according to Roanoke.

He spent teaching at UVA in 1991, and he wrote one of his remarkable works, "Schizophrenia Genesis: The Origins of Madness." At the time of his death, he was a professor at the University of Minnesota.

During working on his study, he combined data genetic analysis, and personal accounts of schizo patients. Since he was a graduate student of UM, in the 1950s, he began studying personality traits of twins, including those who share same genetic makeup, fraternal twins, those genes differ. At that time, his study focused more on nurture than natures.

Later on, Gottesman focused his research on schizophrenia. His study about twins that reach a decade, showed a link between schizophrenia and genetics.

Meanwhile, in a video, "How the choices you make can affect your genes" hosted by Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna, explains why people with the same DNA, particularly twins, can turn out differently. There is a link between epigenetics and changes in human development, and even nature vs. nature is also related.

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