A 2021 interview with McGill University’s Moshe Szyf: “There is a rejection of transgenerational inheritance as it goes against progressive thinking because it ties us to previous generations. The theory faces rejection because it sounds deterministic. But if you understand what epigenetics is, it’s not deterministic. There is stability, and there’s also room for dynamic … Continue reading The impact of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and early life experiences
Among the everyday repetitive experiences and challenges, there are moments when I have to stop working, or pull into a parking lot, or just stop. Most of the time it’s when I’m listening to the transcendental music of Mozart written in the later years of his short life. Start this next piece, and go about … Continue reading Transcendental experiences
Reposted from five years ago. A 2015 worldwide human study Hunger promotes acquisition of nonfood objects found that people’s current degree of hungriness affected their propensity to acquire nonfood items. The researchers admitted that they didn’t demonstrate cause and effect with the five experiments they performed, although the findings had merit. News articles poked good-natured … Continue reading Do early experiences of hunger affect our behavior, thoughts, and feelings today?
This 2018 New York rodent study not only wasted resources but also speciously attempted to extrapolate animal study findings to humans: “While it is clear that behavioral experience modulates epigenetic profiles, it is less evident how the nature of that experience influences outcomes and whether epigenetic/genetic “biomarkers” could be extracted to classify different types of … Continue reading Flawed epigenetic measurements of behavioral experiences
This 2017 California rodent study found: “Neural representations within the mouse hypothalamus, that underlie innate social behaviours, are shaped by social experience. In sexually and socially experienced adult males, divergent and characteristic neural ensembles represented male versus female conspecifics [members of the same species]. However, in inexperienced adult males, male and female intruders activated overlapping … Continue reading One example of how experience changes the brain
The second paper of Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance week was a 2017 German/Israeli review focused on: “The inter- and transgenerational effects of stress experience prior to and during gestation..the concept of stress-induced (re-)programming in more detail by highlighting epigenetic mechanisms and particularly those affecting the development of monoaminergic transmitter systems, which constitute the brain’s reward system. We … Continue reading Experience-induced transgenerational programming of neuronal structure and functions
This 2015 Chinese/Australian study found: “Human emotions systematically track changes in the acoustic environment, affecting not only how we experience those sounds but also how we perceive facial expressions in other people. Three changes in acoustic attributes known to signal emotional states in speech and music [frequency spectrum, intensity, and rate] were imposed upon 24 … Continue reading The emotional power of environmental sounds affects our sensory experiences
What does it take to empathetically understand, to make a part of oneself, to grok an ACE score? The ACE effort was initiated in 1985 in an era before epigenetics was well-studied. Its artifacts included the ACE pyramid: The historical ACE lifespan continuum on the left began at conception. The pyramid on the right promoted … Continue reading Grokking an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) score
This 2015 worldwide human study Hunger promotes acquisition of nonfood objects found that people’s current degree of hungriness affected their propensity to acquire nonfood items. The researchers admitted that they didn’t demonstrate cause and effect with the five experiments they performed, although the findings had merit. News articles poked good-natured fun at the findings with … Continue reading Do the impacts of early experiences of hunger affect our behavior, thoughts, and feelings today?
This 2014 Montreal study provided more evidence of critical periods during human development: “Clearly illustrates that early acquired information is maintained in the brain and that early experiences unconsciously influence neural processing for years, if not indefinitely. We show that internationally adopted children (aged 9–17 years) from China, exposed exclusively to French since adoption (mean … Continue reading Our early experiences are maintained and unconsciously influence us for years, if not indefinitely
What I found curious in this 2012 UK review of 82 studies was the reviewer’s reluctance to highly regard a human’s life before birth, during infancy, and in early childhood. There was no lack in 2012 of animal studies to draw from to inferentially hypothesize how a human fetal environment causes the fetus to adapt … Continue reading Problematic research: Feigning naivety of the impact of prenatal, infancy and early childhood experiences
This 2012 human study was done by McGill University, whose researchers in Canada are at the forefront of epigenetic studies. The subject was epigenetic DNA methylation in the hippocampus of people who experienced abuse as children and who also committed suicide. Comparisons were made with rats that were stressed in early life to identify genomic … Continue reading Conserved epigenetic sensitivity to early life experience in the hippocampus
This 2011 human study by the grandfather of hippocampus stress studies, Martin Teicher, quantified childhood maltreatment using the Adverse Childhood Experiences study and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire scores: “The strongest associations between maltreatment and volume were observed in the left CA2-CA3 and CA4-DG [dentate gyrus] subfields, and were not mediated by histories of major depression or … Continue reading Early emotional experiences change our brains: Childhood maltreatment is associated with reduced volume in the hippocampus
Two papers, starting with a 2022 rodent study of maternal behaviors’ effects on offspring physiologies: “Early life adversity (ELA) is a major risk factor for development of pathology. Predictability of parental care may be a distinguishing feature of different forms of ELA. We tested the hypothesis that changes in maternal behavior in mice would be … Continue reading If you were given a lens to see clearly, would you accept it?
This 2022 human study used four epigenetic clocks to assess aging: “This cohort study was a secondary analysis of 3 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) ancillary studies among 1813 women eligible to survive to age 90 years by end of study period. The study found that increased epigenetic age acceleration (EAA) as measured by 4 epigenetic … Continue reading If you lose mobility, you lose cognitive function