In part two of my posts from May 15th, I expressed concern that someone might attempt to steal my thunder with regard to the importance of the ecological, social, and neurogenic niches to adaptive evolution. Today, my concerns were somewhat alleviated by publication of:.
Excerpt: “As a thought experiment we can imagine selection building a learning mechanism that is biased to make certain associations. Epigenetic mechanisms would be a candidate solution to introducing shifts in learning bias across such situations, as would endocrine functioning.”
My comment: That’s more that just a thought experiment in my model, where nothing is left to the imagination. The epigenetic calibration of intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression by nutrient chemicals and the standardization and control of reproduction by the epigenetic effects of pheromones on intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression cause the patterned variation that persists in the extended evolutionary synthesis of biological design, which incorporates transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Nutrient chemicals cause ecological niches to form that enable interactions among the conspecifics of social niches. Nutrition and pheromones are both required for epigenetic effects on development of a neurogenic niche in the honeybee brain and a hypothalamic neurogenic niche in the mammalian brain. This neurogenic niche directs the differentiation of other neuronal systems in the brain during the behavioral development of the organism. The honeybee is the model organism that links what the queen eats to her pheromone production and neuroanatomy of the brain and the behavior of her offspring. The threespine stickleback is the vertebrate model for epigenetic effects on pre-existing genetic variation. In mammals, epigenetic cause is modeled via the receptor-mediated effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones on the hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormone neuronal niche that controls brain development and behavior via its effects on luteinizing hormone, steroidogenesis, and hippocampal neurogenesis, which is required for the plasticity of learning and memory during behavioral development. Adaptive evolution thus incorporates the transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of the sensory environment that contains sufficient nutrient chemicals and conspecifics.