Scientists presented new research demonstrating the impact life experiences can have on genes and behavior. The studies examine how such environmental information can be transmitted from one generation to the next -- a phenomenon known as epigenetics. This new knowledge could ultimately improve understanding of brain plasticity, the cognitive benefits of motherhood, and how a parent's exposure to drugs, alcohol, and stress can alter brain development and behavior in their offspring.
The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2011, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
The new findings show that:
Another recent finding discussed shows that:
"Research in the last few years has dramatically changed what we know about how behaviors are inherited," said press conference moderator Flora Vaccarino, MD, from Yale University, an expert on the developing brain. "Today's findings show how our genes and environment work together to influence brain development throughout a lifetime."
This research was supported by national funding agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.
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