One example of how experience changes the brain

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

Experience-induced transgenerational programming of neuronal structure and functions

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 offer … Continue reading Experience-induced transgenerational programming of neuronal structure and functions

The emotional power of environmental sounds affects our sensory experiences

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

Grokking an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) score

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 include 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

Do the impacts of early experiences of hunger affect our behavior, thoughts, and feelings today?

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?

Our early experiences are maintained and unconsciously influence us for years, if not indefinitely

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.“ YES! GIVE US MORE STUDIES LIKE THIS ONE! “We show that internationally adopted children (aged 9–17 years) from … Continue reading Our early experiences are maintained and unconsciously influence us for years, if not indefinitely

Problematic research: Feigning naivety of the impact of prenatal, infancy and early childhood experiences

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 fetus’ environment causes the fetus to adapt … Continue reading Problematic research: Feigning naivety of the impact of prenatal, infancy and early childhood experiences

Conserved epigenetic sensitivity to early life experience in the hippocampus

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

Early emotional experiences change our brains: Childhood maltreatment is associated with reduced volume 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 subfields, and were not mediated by histories of major depression or posttraumatic stress … Continue reading Early emotional experiences change our brains: Childhood maltreatment is associated with reduced volume in the hippocampus

What is a father’s role in epigenetic inheritance?

The agenda of this 2017 Danish review was to establish a paternal role in intergenerational and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of metabolic diseases: “There are four windows of susceptibility which have major importance for epigenetic inheritance of acquired paternal epigenetic changes: paternal primordial germ cell (PGC) development, prospermatogonia stages, spermatogenesis, and during preimplantation.” The review was … Continue reading What is a father’s role in epigenetic inheritance?