Epigentics and the baby connectome

Towards the “Baby Connectome”: Mapping the Structural Connectivity of the Newborn Brain

Excerpt: The proposed framework can be applied to babies of different ages, including premature newborns, and thereby provides a novel tool for unbiased study of structural maturation of the brain. Previously, developmental trajectories could only be studied by measuring anatomy and analyzing separate DTI tracks using tract- or region-of-interest based analysis. We also expect that, by studying brain network topology in newborns, it will become possible to better understand the process of relocation of specific brain functions as a consequence of brain plasticity. The proposed anatomically unconstrained approach to parcellation followed by network-driven analysis of the connectome should facilitate this task.

Recently Hagmann et al. [21] applied the principles of MR connectomics to explore the contribution of white matter maturation to the development of connectivity between 2 and 18 years. Among other network refinements, they observed a significant increase in node strength and efficiency along with a decrease in clustering.


My comment

The contribution of white matter maturation to the development of connectivity between 2 and 18 years can be addressed in the context of food odors and social odors. Brain development is obviously dependent on food odors associated with nutrition. See: Scientists delve into the brain roots of hunger and eating.

In my model the contribution of social odors to brain development is equally important as indicated by the effect of pheromones on luteinizing hormone, steroidogenesis and white matter development.

Zhang et al 2011, for example, bring to bear the fact that new genes for primate intelligence are scattered across the whole genome, demonstrating that they are generated by many independent events including de novo origination, which creates a protein without a parental locus. Since there is no direct effect of non-olfactory/pheromonal sensory input of the environment that would explain gene activation and the intracellular interactions in neurons that might result in de novo gene expression, the most likely driving force for increased primate intelligence appears to be odors associated with nutrition and pheromones associated with socialization.

In mammals, olfactory/pheromonal cause is directly linked to effects on luteinizing hormone and steroidogenesis which also links social odors to sexual differentiation of the brain and behavior.

About James V. Kohl 1308 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