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Author Topic: Can memories be passed on to progeny?  (Read 5543 times)

Offline zachary

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« on: 27/04/2010 01:30:03 »
zachary asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Can memories be passed down to progeny?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 27/04/2010 01:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline grizelda

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #1 on: 27/04/2010 11:18:31 »
Memories are connections to previous experiences. Since newborns have no previous experiences to connect them to, they have no memories, period.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #2 on: 27/04/2010 19:25:24 »
In a way memories can be passed to progeny; it's called education.
 

Offline Geezer

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #3 on: 27/04/2010 21:56:09 »
I suppose it depends on the definition of "memories". If you include instinctive behaviours as a kind of pre-programmed "memory", then the answer is yes.
 

Offline Jessica H

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #4 on: 28/04/2010 02:44:18 »
Not in the literal sense.  But epigenetics is showing that genes can be altered and those changes can be passed on to progeny.  So the genes "remember" in a way! 


Article about this shows that in rats, one gene can be altered depending on the mother's diet:
http://discovermagazine.com/2006/nov/cover

 

Offline Atomic-S

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #5 on: 28/04/2010 06:04:18 »
How does the behavior of the monarch butterfly, whose annual migration spans several generations, fit into all this? If any significant change takes place to a part of its range, can subsequent generations adapt to that, or are they limited to what they are programmed to deal with, and will become extinct as a result?
 

Offline echochartruse

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #6 on: 28/04/2010 06:08:03 »
yes instinct, basic knowledge, That's how the migrating bird knows to migrate even when raised by a non migrating bird.

some children have a memory knowledge gut feeling!... say, when they need to add oxygen to fire to keep it a light. The bellows were around for generations, no one needs to tell children oxygen is needed for the flame to stay alight. most kids will blow a fire to keep it alight or fan it automatically without explanation.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #7 on: 28/04/2010 19:49:13 »
It's not ordinarily considered prudent to let kids play with fire on their own. It's a safe bet that they learned to use bellows or whatever by watching an adult.

How the first adult came to this idea is a more interesting question
 

Offline zachary

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #8 on: 28/04/2010 22:56:43 »
Terrific replies:  I was thinking along the lines of the instinctual behavior posts.  Things akin to fixed action patterns.  The studies with mice, rats and Swedish famines made me think that epigenetics can induce the passing on of traits imprinted during a single lifetime without other variability in the DNA itself.  Likewise, could not a memory be shaped that way?  I guess we need a good definition of what a memory is--anyone?
 

Offline echochartruse

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #9 on: 29/04/2010 20:04:59 »
In Australia and now America,the Australian kelpie(a dog)is bred primary for the purpose to manage sheep and cattle on farms.
If the Kelpie was taken from its mother at say 10 weeks of age and brought up with sheep would it be more sheep like than dog like?

Definitely not!

Does the kelpie learn all its behaviors within those first 10 weeks of life? amazing if it did.
Strong lines of working dogs do not need educating by humans. you can take a 10 week old kelpie pup and put him in the paddock and he will respond as expected, just like his prior generations did. this is obviously not learnt in the pups short 10 weeks of life but has been bred into them through generations of working dogs.
 

Offline echochartruse

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #10 on: 29/04/2010 20:59:49 »
Quote from: http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/mole00/mole00666.htm
Dr. Darold Treffert, a Wisconsin psychiatrist, has been studying Savant
Syndrome for nearly 40 years. In his observations, there appears to be
traits and abilities that can only be explained by the term genetic
memory or ancestoral memory. This is likened to philosopher Plato's theory
of an innate memory - we are born with memories inherited from our parents
and other relatives. Has the Human Genome Project discovered or mapped a
section of the DNA strand that may contain information such as
memories?

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=18249

Transfer of Consciousness Through Organ Transplant
http://scienceray.com/philosophy-of-science/a-medical-mystery-transferred-organ-donor-consciousness/

 

Offline Jessica H

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #11 on: 05/05/2010 01:51:06 »
Haven't we passed on some memories of what's bad for us? I think people tend to have instinctual revulsins and fears of thing that are harmful, like snakes or our own waste?  Or is this learned? 
 

Offline echochartruse

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #12 on: 01/06/2010 23:51:14 »
Haven't we passed on some memories of what's bad for us? I think people tend to have instinctual revulsins and fears of thing that are harmful, like snakes or our own waste?  Or is this learned? 

Could this be "gut feeling"
 

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Can memories be passed on to progeny?
« Reply #12 on: 01/06/2010 23:51:14 »

 

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