Nature or Nurture

Since showcasing my series “Traits of Perception” I had a strong desire to delve deeper into how the network of the autistic brain works. There are no two people within the autistic spectrum who are the same, they have differing traits, behaviours and avoidances and varying levels of ability.

From birth we are all nurtured by those around us, we are taught how to act, how to behave, we are shown love and affection, both to give and receive. What we are taught and what we see influences who we are as adults. An autistic child sees the world differently, they can avoid things that we see as natural, hugging, eye contact and social situations. They miss read so many human emotions causing confusion.Nature can determine what we are, but how much does nurture influence the natural process of development within the brain.The development of an autistic person can also be effected by how they are either over nurtured (wrapped up in cotton wool) or under nurtured to the point of feeling discouraged from accepting the condition. There has to be a balance between nurturing what comes naturally.

Title: "Nature or Nurture"

In my research I found that the brain cell connections called the neurons have Synapses to transport and store information to the brain. Naturally a human is born with more synapse then needed. Over time and development the brain cells prune the synapse that are no longer used or needed. For an autistic brain it could go one out of two ways, one: the synapses have been over pruned or two: the neurons did not undergo normal pruning and has overgrown.

Title: "Nurture"

In this series I have used white porcelain clay to represent the purity and innocence of nature and the human spirit. I have used tree like branches to represent the neurons within the brain, short for pruned and long for unpruned, incorporating texture and colour to show the movement of messages travelling along the neurons and synapses.  

Titled: "Pruned"