Total Posts:6|Showing Posts:1-6
Jump to topic:

mice inherit fear from fathers?

janesix
Posts: 3,466
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2015 12:54:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
"Certain fears can be inherited through the generations, a provocative study of mice reports1. The authors suggest that a similar phenomenon could influence anxiety and addiction in humans. But some researchers are sceptical of the findings because a biological mechanism that explains the phenomenon has not been identified."

"Studying the biological basis for those effects in humans would be difficult. So Ressler and his colleague Brian Dias opted to study epigenetic inheritance in laboratory mice trained to fear the smell of acetophenone, a chemical the scent of which has been compared to those of cherries and almonds. He and Dias wafted the scent around a small chamber, while giving small electric shocks to male mice. The animals eventually learned to associate the scent with pain, shuddering in the presence of acetophenone even without a shock.

This reaction was passed on to their pups"

http://www.nature.com...

How is it possible to inherit fear of a smell from your parents? What is the mechanism? How does an inherited fear get into the sperm to be passed on?
debate_power
Posts: 726
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/29/2015 4:09:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/27/2015 12:54:02 PM, janesix wrote:
"Certain fears can be inherited through the generations, a provocative study of mice reports1. The authors suggest that a similar phenomenon could influence anxiety and addiction in humans. But some researchers are sceptical of the findings because a biological mechanism that explains the phenomenon has not been identified."

"Studying the biological basis for those effects in humans would be difficult. So Ressler and his colleague Brian Dias opted to study epigenetic inheritance in laboratory mice trained to fear the smell of acetophenone, a chemical the scent of which has been compared to those of cherries and almonds. He and Dias wafted the scent around a small chamber, while giving small electric shocks to male mice. The animals eventually learned to associate the scent with pain, shuddering in the presence of acetophenone even without a shock.

This reaction was passed on to their pups"

http://www.nature.com...

How is it possible to inherit fear of a smell from your parents? What is the mechanism? How does an inherited fear get into the sperm to be passed on?

Bizarre... how can neural impulses affect gene expression like that? Maybe more sperm with the favorable characteristics are produced? I've never heard of anything like this before.
You can call me Mark if you like.
Kryptic
Posts: 30
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/1/2015 5:08:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I read that it was stress, stress can invoke fear as anxiety comes straight after prolong exposure to stress. I wouldn't say that I was afraid of snakes so my son will be, but the stress and anxiety or at least the response of feeling that way has been shown to go down in generations.

It's a good test to see if mental illness is hereditary, my father has a high case of anxiety and stress, all through my life I was exposed to him feeling this way; now it appears that a mixture of conditioning and genotypes has resulted in me acting a similar way also.
Garbanza
Posts: 1,997
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/1/2015 5:23:54 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/27/2015 12:54:02 PM, janesix wrote:
"Certain fears can be inherited through the generations, a provocative study of mice reports1. The authors suggest that a similar phenomenon could influence anxiety and addiction in humans. But some researchers are sceptical of the findings because a biological mechanism that explains the phenomenon has not been identified."

"Studying the biological basis for those effects in humans would be difficult. So Ressler and his colleague Brian Dias opted to study epigenetic inheritance in laboratory mice trained to fear the smell of acetophenone, a chemical the scent of which has been compared to those of cherries and almonds. He and Dias wafted the scent around a small chamber, while giving small electric shocks to male mice. The animals eventually learned to associate the scent with pain, shuddering in the presence of acetophenone even without a shock.

This reaction was passed on to their pups"

http://www.nature.com...

How is it possible to inherit fear of a smell from your parents? What is the mechanism? How does an inherited fear get into the sperm to be passed on?

This is SO INTERESTING. I think it's a type of epigenetic inheritance.

http://www.livescience.com...
Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/7/2015 9:03:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/27/2015 12:54:02 PM, janesix wrote:
"Certain fears can be inherited through the generations, a provocative study of mice reports1. The authors suggest that a similar phenomenon could influence anxiety and addiction in humans. But some researchers are sceptical of the findings because a biological mechanism that explains the phenomenon has not been identified."

"Studying the biological basis for those effects in humans would be difficult. So Ressler and his colleague Brian Dias opted to study epigenetic inheritance in laboratory mice trained to fear the smell of acetophenone, a chemical the scent of which has been compared to those of cherries and almonds. He and Dias wafted the scent around a small chamber, while giving small electric shocks to male mice. The animals eventually learned to associate the scent with pain, shuddering in the presence of acetophenone even without a shock.

This reaction was passed on to their pups"

http://www.nature.com...

How is it possible to inherit fear of a smell from your parents? What is the mechanism? How does an inherited fear get into the sperm to be passed on?

I could certainly see how this sort of genetic inheritance could work.

But first we have to clarify some of the terminology used in the OP. The word "fear" for example, makes me a bit uncomfortable, and as a mental health professional I believe I can also safely claim that it is inaccurate. That is, when used in the context of "Mice can inherit the fear of smell." Or the OP title of "fear can be inherited."

Because what is really going on here, insofar as its materialist reductionism is concerned, is that the mice progeny are inheriting brain cells. More specifically, the cells that comprise the neurons and the axions and the dendrites that all play parts in sending and receiving the brain's neurotransmitters.

You will recall that it is the balance, routing, preopensity--or dearth of, and sending/receiving of these neurotransmitters in your brain that are formulate all your emotions and desires. And personality, as well, Along with conditioning, of course.

But basically: it's all chemicals, baby. LOL

So...through Pavlovian conditioned response the father mice learn to "fear" the smell of acetythene--or whatever it was. The brain actually woks like a basic feedback loop. Not that different from a computer program. (with enhancement and differences, of course. But for the layman, this is genrerally accurate.)

So because of the shocks the mice develop a feedback loop in their brain: "smell this and shock is coming! So this smell is BAD!"

Cells are formed which enable and enhance this dynamic. This loop.

And, viola! Through the process of Darwinian selective inheritance, the offspring's genomes "select in" those genes as a part of their DNA--via rNA. And what do you know? They now "fear" that smell as well. More accurate to say they are taught to avoid it as they believe it is a precursor to an undesirable sensation.

So for the sake of brevity and clarity to the layman we can use the word "fear" here. But technically that is not what is being inherited.
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
6/7/2015 9:40:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/1/2015 5:08:12 AM, Kryptic wrote:
I read that it was stress, stress can invoke fear as anxiety comes straight after prolong exposure to stress. I wouldn't say that I was afraid of snakes so my son will be, but the stress and anxiety or at least the response of feeling that way has been shown to go down in generations.

It's a good test to see if mental illness is hereditary, my father has a high case of anxiety and stress, all through my life I was exposed to him feeling this way; now it appears that a mixture of conditioning and genotypes has resulted in me acting a similar way also.

Oh..there is no doubt that certain mental illnesses have a genetic component. This has been know for a good four decades now.

The jury is still out on whether or not a genetic predisposition is a factor on someof the "lesser" psychiatric illnesses, like depression or anxiety disorders, but insofar as Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder, there is no doubt among mental health professionals that the children of sufferers of those diseases are far more likely to inherit the genetic marker for them than are progeny of parents not afflicted.

The increase in probability is on the order of magnitudes. Perhaps as high as five or six times' increase in likelihood.

Even alcoholism has been proven that it does have a genetic component. Although this of course doesn't mean that you have to have had an alcoholic parent to become one. But studies done with twins of alcoholic parents who were separated in early childhood have shown that a son or daughter of an alcoholic is about four times more likely to become one themselves.

But of course, you can certainly drink yourself into alcoholism as well. And I don't mean just to indulge in a bad habit, but to actually alter cellular structure so that they become "misshapen" in such a way to make them identical to those of someone with the genetic maker.

A good book on the genetic proliferation of Bipolar disorder is called "Touched with Fire" and is written by a Bipolar Psychologist at Johns-Hopkins named Kay Jamieson-Redfield, whom I had the good fortune to take a class from back in my undergrad days.
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.