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Essay about Mark Blumberg's Basic Instinct: The Genesis of Behavior

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Mark Blumberg, a neuroscientist wrote a book titled Basic Instinct: The Genesis of Behavior which revolves around the topic of animal and human behaviors. An instinct is an innate behavior as mentioned several times in the book which simply means that an animal or human is born with a certain behavior or it occurs naturally.
An example of an instinct given in the very beginning of the book is “a panicked mother rushes into oncoming traffic to save her wandering child” (p. xi). Along with this example, there were other examples of instincts mentioned in the introduction. The instinct I stated here about a mother and her child shows that the mother does not think about anything such as her life being at risk during the process of saving her child, it comes naturally for a mother to protect her child from the dangers of the oncoming traffic. This reminds me of my mother’s personal experience regarding my brother, in which my brother, being young child was playing outside and yes he was supervised by grandparents and older siblings. So my brother happened to be in front of someone’s driveway and someone was reversing their car out of that driveway, my mother was inside the house when she noticed this, so she had broken through the glass storm door because she had to quickly get out of the house. She ran to pick up my brother and in the process she was injured from hitting the glass storm door, she had many cuts on her arm but it did not matter to her as her child was now safe from what could have been a huge disaster. This idea of not thinking and just reacting to rescue your child in need is considered an instinct.
The book starts with Blumberg’s personal experiences with his dogs and moves onto several examples from other famous p...


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...s plays a role in control or feeling like you have control of the situation.
One question after reading this book that was raised in my mind was that breathing is considered an instinct so where did that exactly come from, does that go with the environment we were brought up in or was it learned or do genes play a role in this ability or what, was it just random and was it there because we needed to breath in order to survive. There are a lot of ideas and questions that come from this topic about instinct and further research can be conducted on this topic because it is interesting and this book has done a good job in bringing these ideas together, relating them to one another and also having the reader question the ideas behind the term instinct.



Works Cited

Blumberg, Mark Samuel. Basic Instinct: The Genesis of Behavior. New York: Thunder’s Mouth, 2005. Print.


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