The Imax Approach Part 5

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imax approach examines home social biology perceptions
This week I roll out the fourth domain of the Imax, the internal domain of your brain and body. I think readers who have followed this column can appreciate that who we are is profoundly influenced by our home and social domains, and how this has impacted the Ic domain, how we see ourselves and how we think other people see us. This week I briefly touch upon the fourth domain of our brain and body, but hope readers go back to look at the blogs on adolescent brain development, or the stories about some of my patients, and view them anew through the lens of Imax. The boy with the bike, the girl who swallowed the pills, even the chilling data on adolescent substance abuse from CASA, all of these are at an Imax.  But we don’t have to like it or condone it, and we have to hold responsible and accountable each and every one of them and us for our Imax.  In this way we can revel in the profound interconnectedness of us all, and realize we control no one but influence every one. And what kind of influence do we want to be?

Your biology: brain and body

Full Body X-Ray image

Biology and genetics are reflected in this fourth Domain.  Here belongs the process of development, what genes are turned on or off at this moment in time, what neural pathways are in process of myelination or plasticity, have the bones stopped growing, are coronary arteries developing plaque, are you digesting a meal, etc.  It also recognizes that one’s daily state of health and nutrition can impact all of the other Domains. If one has a cold, has cancer, or is on heroin, the truly inner world of genetics and biology then impacts choices one makes in the outer world. It is in this Domain one explores the influence of inherited traits, of the use of medication, and the physiological responses of the internal to the external environments.

But the body is going to do what the body is going to do, depending on the influences of the other domains.  A brain cell does not have a choice if exposed to heroin or alcohol or any substance. It is not able to say, “Hey, I’m not going to let this get me high.”  But it will do that if it has built up tolerance, also an Imax of a cell after exposure to the drug. A heart cell does not wake up one day and say, “Hey, today I’m only going to beat half as much,” but it may if other factors are influencing it in its external and internal environments. And each of these potentials, all of these potentials, just as in quantum physics, all of these current maximum potentials is an Imax.

The external Domains of home and your social environment, and the internal Domains of how you see yourself, how you see others and how others see you,  and your biology, brain and body, result in a fluid interaction and continuity that seamlessly blends nature and nurture.  As a result of the fluid interaction between the Domains, a small change in one can have an amplified effect in the others. The result is the Imax: your current maximum potential.