A new study has provided evidence that people who are considered emotionally sensitive have a gene variant that makes them more sensitive than others. They ‘see’ things in the world differently, which is supported by a heightened activity within their brains. The researchers found the gene influences the neurotransmitter called norepinephrine.
The researcher scanned the brains of 39 participating individuals of which 21 carried this specific gene variant. The people who carried the gene variant showed heightened brain activity in the area which regulates emotions. It also evaluates both the pleasure and threat emotions. The researcher postulates this gene variant may explain why some individuals are more susceptible to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and possibly other stress-related disorders.
With the present knowledge of gene variants, it is most probable that our personalities are molded by both nature and nurture, not just one or the other. The old debate whether we are a blank slate at the time of birth may be obsolete now, which would indicate we are born with a certain tendency (or tendencies) to be emotionally sensitive and not completely molded by our environments. We can be predisposed in our brains to be more emotional than another person and have a certain personality trait.
It is common sense and most people will agree that nurture does influence how we see the world. If a child is raised in a hostile environment, chances are he will view hostility as ‘normal.’ This is the nurture influence of our personalities. Now, the new research supports that people who are emotionally sensitive are not always influenced by their upbringing. That tendency may be in their genes.