How does the wiring of our brains shape who we are?

Posted on: 19 October 2018

Leading neuroscientist and popular science blogger, Professor Kevin Mitchell, launched a fascinating new book, INNATE, at a special event in Trinity earlier this week.

INNATE takes readers on a timely and eye-opening journey into the science of what makes us all unique by asking how the wiring of our brains shapes who we are. In INNATE, Kevin Mitchell, who is Associate Professor of Genetics and Neuroscience at Trinity, traces human diversity and individual difference to their roots in the wiring of our brains.

In surveying the latest research on the genetic and neural underpinnings of personality, intelligence and sexuality, as well as disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and epilepsy, INNATE examines the social and ethical implications of these findings and the new technologies they have spawned to predict or manipulate human traits.

Professor Mitchell’s insight, that developmental and genetic variations create innate differences in how our brains are wired – differences that impact all aspects of our psychology – will transform the way we understand the interplay between nature and nurture.

Elaborating on a key theme of the book, Professor Mitchell said:

The idea that we are born as blank slates is dead. Due to variation in how our brains develop, we each come into the world utterly unique – with a set of innate predispositions, talents, and aptitudes that profoundly influence our patterns of behaviour throughout our lives.

About Professor Mitchell

Professor Kevin Mitchell’s work is aimed at understanding the genetic programme specifying the wiring of the brain and its relevance to variation in human faculties, especially to psychiatric and neurological conditions such as schizophrenia, autism and synaesthesia.

He writes the popular Wiring the Brain blog ( and is on Twitter @WiringtheBrain.

Media Contact:

Thomas Deane, Media Relations Officer | | +353 1 896 4685