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Margriet Sitskoorn

The Key

"A better understanding of the brain is a better understanding of ourselves."

An eclectic personality that expresses itself chiefly through her work. Her study is a journey to discover the brain mechanisms that regulate human behaviour. The attitudes reveal that man is mainly a social individua! and that therefore our brain is a social brain. According to her researches, the encephalon is plastic and malleable and changes according to the circumstances, which explains why and how some sins and virtues are developed.


Margriet Sitskoorn studies Psychology in the 80s at the Tilburg University and specialised in Neuropsychology and in the Netherlands (her homeland) she also attained her PhD {1994) in Development Psychology at the Nijmegen University. The study focuses on how children perceived interactions between the objects. She works and additionally studies at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit (USA). Since 2000 she is the director at the Neurocognitief Centrum Nederland and since February 2008 she is full Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the Tilburg University.
Her research focuses on the relationship between brain and behaviour. Knowing and understanding how the brain works provides us, according to her, with the better understanding of the actions of humans. Margriet, ever since the early days of her career, did not just teach "in class" but participates in many meetings, debates and conferences. Her mission, she claims, is passing knowledge around so as to make it easier to understand far everyone. She succeeded in this with her books: the first, a best-seller, is "The Malleable Brain" {2006) followed by "Long Live the Brain" {2008) and also a best-seller "The seven deadly
sins of the brain" {2010), published in Italy only this year.
In this last book the doctor analyses the concept of sin and in particular focuses on how the brain is stimulated and attracted by it. The studies in this field confirm that the encephalon is malleable and adapts easily to the circumstances. She discovers that sin is closely linked to the mechanism of pleasure and pain and it deeply influences our actions. However this is just part of the story. She explains that we do not just have to be slaves to these mechanisms but that we can develop true wisdom by using and developing our prefrontal lobes.
In addition to the many conferences based on her books, Sitskoorm also writes on many newspapers and magazines and participates to popular science TV programmes about how the brain works. 

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