Studia humana (SH) is a multi-disciplinary peer reviewed journal publishing valuable
contributions on any aspect of human sciences such as...


Beata Płonka



Neurobiology of Consciousness: Current Research and Perspectives

Issue: 16 (The sixteenth issue)
Scientific, objective approach to consciousness has allowed to obtain some experimental data concerning brain activity, ignoring, however, the long-standing philosophical tradition. Spectacular development of neuroscience which has been observed recently made this dissonance particularly noticeable. The paper addresses the main problems of discrepancy between neurobiological research and philosophical perspective. Current opinions concerning neural correlates and models of consciousness are discussed, as well as the problems of working memory, attention, self, and disorders of consciousness. A new neurobiological approach to describe brain function in terms of brain connectivity (so-called connectome) is also presented. Finally, the need to introduce at least some aspects of philosophical approach directly into neurobiological research of consciousness is postulated.

Nature or Nurture – Will Epigenomics Solve the Dilemma?

Issue: 18 (The eighteenth issue)
The concept of “nature and nurture” is used to distinguish between genetic and
environmental influences on the formation of individual, mainly behavioral,
traits. Different approaches that interpret nature and nurture as completely
opposite or complementary aspects of human development have been
discussed for decades. The paper addresses the most important points of nature
vs nurture debate from the perspective of biological research, especially in the
light of the recent findings in the field of epigenetics. The most important
biological concepts, such as the trait, phenotype and genotype, as well as the
evolution of other crucial notions are presented. Various attempts to find the
main source of human variation are discussed – mainly the search for structural
variants and the genome-wide association studies (GWAS). A new approach
resulting from the discovery of “missing heritability”, as well as the current
knowledge about the possible influence of epigenetic mechanisms on human
traits are analyzed. Finally, the impact of epigenetic revolution on the society
(public attitude, health policy, human rights etc.) is discussed.