We recently published a new issue of the Charité NeuroScience (CNS) Newsletter, bringing you the latest on The Self, the Many and the Whole.
Each of us likely think of ourselves as an individual – a part separate from the whole. But that might not be the whole story, pun intended. In the same moment in which we influence the whole around us, we in turn are influenced by it. Together, many individuals co-create something, perhaps greater than each individual, in which they find a home–a familiar and safe space to carry on their practices, and preferences and varnish their skills. A sports fan makes a fanbase. A singer makes a choir. A citizen makes a country. In the same turn, the sports team shapes the sports fan. The choir defines the singer—bass, tenor, alto, or soprano? The country defines borders and customs to which the citizen conforms. What is the self, indeed, without the many and the whole?
Before we look inward, let us first look outward, to a simpler organism – or is the honeybee in fact a more complex superorganism (p.10)? As humans, we also create something larger through our shared behavior (p.18) and we are in turn shaped by our cultural environments (p.15). We invite you to ponder the idea of the Self: how much of the Self is determined by and reliant on our cultural environment? Examine with us the early stages of the "nature versus nurture" debate as it was shaped by early twin studies (p.8), and sit with the idea of Radical Hope in the face of cultural devastation (p.19). What to do when we as individuals are lost in outdated and harmful systems – like those as work in modern healthcare (p.4)? Perhaps the latest in connectomics can give us a glimpse into the future (p.12), though some of us prefer to escape light years away (p.22).
In this issue, we explore how individuals shape each other, how many individuals shape a collective, and how all of these processes run the opposite way. We invite you to examine systems from society to biology and ask the question: how do the self, the many, and the whole shape each other in turn? Following this cue, Lorena, one of our Editors-in-Chief, says 'so long' instead of farewell. “Being part of this community shaped me and led me to further adventures. Yet, I hope to remain part of what shapes this one, even if a Lil bit.
Volume 15, Issue 02
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