Behavioral epigenetics

Behavioral Epigenetics” was held on October 29–30, 2010 at the University of Massachusetts Boston Campus Center, Boston, Massachusetts. This meeting featured speakers and panel discussions exploring the emerging field of behavioral epigenetics, from basic biochemical and cellular mechanisms to the epigenetic modulation of normative development, developmental disorders, and psychopathology. This [free] report provides an overview of the research presented by leading scientists and lively discussion about the future of investigation at the behavioral epigenetic level.

Excerpt: “Tronick recognized that at the present time our ability to specify the chain of causality of epigenetic changes in human behavior is limited because of our inability to access brain tissue.”

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The “chain of causality” of epigenetic changes has been established across all species via the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization. It is the pathway that directly links sensory input from the environment to genetically predisposed behavior in mammals. This pathway (i.e., the chain of causality) is gene, cell, tissue, organ, organ system.  In mammals, the pathway leads to changes in brain tissue that have repeatedly been causally linked to behavior across species including non-human primates and humans. There is no reason human brain tissue must be accessed to specify the chain of causality in human behavior unless every animal model that links this pathway to an organism’s behavior is ignored.  Clearly, that type of ignorance is not what the FDA is advocating in their “Critical Path Initiative,” which focuses on the requirements for new drug development. And clearly, the ASAM wants the gene, cell, tissue, organ, organ system pathway to be more fully considered by psychologists before they implement treatments that are not grounded in biological science.

My comment on Cause and Effect in Biology Revisited on Fri, 12/16/2011 – 08:47 applies equally well to the article that details the “Behavioral Epigenetics” conference proceedings:

From the perspective of molecular biology it seems most likely that the causal link between food acquisition and further developmental effects on all organisms is the most basic of all considerations. Organisms that lack sufficient nutrition do not reproduce. Those that reproduce use chemical signals to communicate self / non-self differences. The chemical signals are derived from successful metabolism of food. This makes chemical signals from food and from conspecifics the most important of all signals involved in biologically based cause and effect. The reciprocity, which requires food acquisition prior to reproduction and species survival, is correctly derived from what is already known about the epigenetic effects of chemical signals from food sources and from conspecifics, and their direct effect on the levels of biological organization that link them to genes and behavior across species.

About James V. Kohl 1307 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society