Genètica i aprenentatge: Com influeixen els gens en l'assoliment educatiu

David Bueno

Abstract


El cerebro es el órgano del pensamiento, que se define como la facultad de concebir, juzgar o inferir, o considerar algo, una opinión o un conjunto de ideas sobre un tema determinado, e incluye los procesos de aprendizaje. Las conexiones neuronales que generan y dan soporte a las funciones mentales se forman en el transcurso de la vida, lo que permite el aprendizaje de nuevos conceptos y habilidades. Tanto la formación y el funcionamiento del cerebro, así como la plasticidad neuronal, están influenciados por la actividad de un conjunto de genes y también por modificaciones epigenéticas, que contribuyen a la regulación de la expresión génica adaptándola a las condiciones ambientales. En esta revisión, dirigida especialmente a profesionales de la educación, se analizan las aportaciones genéticas y epigenéticas a aspectos mentales relacionados con los procesos de aprendizaje, en términos de heredabilidad. Argumentaré que, a pesar de que la mayoría, si no todos los aspectos relacionados con el aprendizaje tienen un trasfondo genético claro, los procesos educativos permiten incrementar o disminuir las capacidades innatas de cada persona. Hablaré, por tanto, de la importancia de la educación en el contexto de la heredabilidad de los procesos vinculados al aprendizaje. La conclusión será que, aunque en la mayoría de estos procesos cerebrales la heredabilidad es relativamente alta, las prácticas educativas constituyen un elemento clave para el desarrollo de los estudiantes, dado que permiten potenciar, o alternativamente disminuir, todas las capacidades cognitivas. Por lo tanto, uno de los objetivos principales de la educación en un mundo cambiante e incierto debería ser formar personas adaptables y versátiles que puedan y quieran aprovechar al máximo sus capacidades. Los conocimientos derivados de la genética y la epigenética, y también de la neurociencia, deberían utilizarse para mejorar la comprensión que tenemos los profesionales de la educación sobre los orígenes biológicos de las diferencias en las capacidades cognitivas, lo cual debería permitir desarrollar prácticas educativas más respetuosas y flexibles para alcanzar el objetivo mencionado, formar personas adaptables y versátiles que puedan y quieran aprovechar al máximo sus capacidades en un entorno cambiante e incierto.

 


Keywords


Genética, Epigenética, Heredabilidad, Ambiente, Aprendizaje, Adaptación

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/joned.v1i1.31788

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