ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Sociology & Anthropology

Genetic Memory: How is it found in biological perspectives?

Updated on April 9, 2014

What is Ancestral Recollection?

Ancestral Recollection, or under a biological psychology approach, “Genetic Memory”, has been long regarded as the sensory process in which we perceive a fight or flight procedure. For the purpose of the Fact or Fiction project, the purpose would be to disentangle the facts from the fiction and give a very accurate intake of such phenomenon. Our genome maintains a link between our current instinctual process and one that would correlate with a instinctual response, whereas a past relative or ancestor could have pressingly experienced and adapted to it beforehand. Along with focusing on a Mammalian (Human) outlook on the process, this paper will come to determine and offer surprising similarities and differences within the genetic and brain map of the Cetacean order as well, or Whales. Through these in-depth structures deciphering of physiological, cognitive, and biological tangibility’s inter-guiding through both orders, creating a defined line between fact and fiction of ancestral recollection.

In our modern society, with the great leaps and bounds we as a society have begun to make in the physiological and biological sectors of psychology, have not yet embraced the yet to be made fact of one able to, as of current, re-express memory recollection of visual experience. On the other hand, members of the scientific community have adapted their doctrine to begin the embracement that we as a species, along with all other orders and genus’s around the planet function on a fight or flight procedure. This is coupled that through genetics, and various DNA link replications and code feasibilities, scientists have begun to believe that alongside the potentially hazardous findings of disease like Liver cancer or ADHD within some genetic sequences, it has been found that memory and instinctual function can be changed as well.

When trying to find tangible evidence to define a true understanding as to if Genetic Memory and Ancestral Recollection co-exist, it’s found to be very primitive in its research stages. Most sources offered miniscule information, but I have gone to great length to research into the exact nature of if it is just a myth or has some factual basis behind the newly developing theory. When looking into sources between genetic memory and its impact on the human species, some very interesting data that was found relevant (Wikipedia “Chromosome 6/Genes On”, BJPsych). Sources concerning the animal genotypes proved valid on the basis of quite a number dictating credible universities and scientific associations. There are of course other studies that have proven to be slightly outdated and so therefore could have some differences in facts that have changed from the time it was completed.

Animal Models: Monarchs, Orca Whales, Humans


Animal kingdom Models


There are a number of species in which give a formal indicator of various components within their genotypes. These all seem to correlate to the much larger picture of why migration exists along with pre-existing memory derived outlook, one in which any migratory species has a instinctual yet vague sense of guided direction. A Few Psychological perspectives can potentially be drawn out below, from a biological nature to the cognitive and physical concepts as well. The models below will show a distinct genetic trait along with psychological behaviors that will, by the end of this paper, help to explain the prospective theory behind Ancestral Recollection.


  1. Monarch Butterfly (Circadian Clock/Juvenile Hormonal Pathways)



To start from one of the smallest insects that have a visible migratory pattern would prove vital to the success of redrawing the maps of genetic memory. A Monarch butterfly is one of the finer species to roam our planet, and even being small doesn’t seem to compensate for its extensive migration flight patterns. This is to say that Monarch Butterflies and their various genus’s have on various occasions, traveled the whole of the Atlantic just to breed and give birth (Wikipedia: Monarch). On a genetic level, one must look at various Crypto-chromes, a “class of flavoproteins that are sensitive to blue light.” (Wikipedia: Cytochrome) It is also interesting to note that these flavoproteins are found in both plants and animals alike, humans included.


On the concept of the Monarch’s Circadian Clock, and under Biologist Steven Roberts in a large study back in 2009, extensive data was collected concerning two crypto-chromes, CRY1 and CRY2 (flavoproteins also found in locusts during migration patterns). Under the study, it was found that CRY1 was the basis of the light collection, and with its intake control, controlled insulin levels while maintaining the blue light production factors. (Jbiol) Coupled with CRY2, Monarch butterflies then have the capabilities to follow a sort of sun compass to their migratory destinations. Under an additional study by Zhu H also dated in 2009, defines the abstract idea that seasonal deficiencies in hormonal patterns can affect the migratory state of the Monarch Butterfly. During the study, it was found that Migrants during the fall season are more hormonally instable thus leading to increased longevity in flight along with better storage areas for Glucose and that sort. (NCBI: Monarch)


  1. Orca Whales (Circadian Clock/Cultural Evolution)


The great killer whale, or just the myth of it being killer as it has never attacked a human outside captivity, is one of the smartest species to roam the underwater world. To start, it should be known that whales have a very large frontal operculum, the same structure in humans to dictate speech (Grey Matters) This is coupled with other enlarged sections that are enlarged compared to humans: The limbic lobe, and the insular cortex. Depending on which pod any given Orca whale is from, this correlates different vocalization patterns that tend to exceed sound heard that can be heard by humans (WikiPedia: Killer Whales).


Under various studies, Orca whales were found to have a very large insulin production system within their cells, stemming from the genes IBF-1 and IBF-2. This allows for the whales to migrate along further routes; on a cellular level, over-produces Insulin causing the body to speed up, cognitive processes and synapse firing within the brain to become dominant (UniProt/BC.Gov/Phys) Within the family social structure, the Orca whale pods tend to steer clear of one another unless there is a notion of Mating involved. Families stayed closely by each other, a child spending most of its life around the mother being taught skills such as foraging or underwater maneuvers. The Complexity of the Orca whale language with its many sound pitches and drops, explains their social structure well; even different pods displayed different adaptations and dialect of language (BC.Gov/Wikipedia: Whale Vocalization)


  1. Humans (Instinct/Circadian Rhythm/Insulin Similarities)


Under the presumption of being human, most individuals on the planet have the understanding that we hold consciousness, whereas most species on the planet do not. It has been found, in the previous categories, Orca whales also show a large notion of consciousness as well. In order to give relation to ancestral recollection, we must look into the famous twin study in Minnesota. During these studies, it was concluded that twins, even though reared at birth in different locations, scored almost 87% in shared traits and commonalities. In the more case-specific study on twins, the famous “Jim & Jim”, offered very uncommon similarities.

Cognitive and Language Development

Under the presumption of being human, most individuals on the planet have the understanding that we hold consciousness, whereas most species on the planet do not. It has been found, in the previous categories, Orca whales also show a large notion of consciousness as well. In order to give relation to ancestral recollection, we must look into the famous twin study in Minnesota. During these studies, it was concluded that twins, even though reared at birth in different locations, scored almost 87% in shared traits and commonalities. In the more case-specific study on twins, the famous “Jim & Jim”, offered very uncommon similarities.


*Case of Jim & Jim* (Scpr)


  • Bit their nails
  • Enjoyed Salem Cigarettes
  • Pursued the Art of Woodworking
  • Suffered Headaches
  • Most Prevalent is that they both vacationed on the same beach in Florida (Migratory Function)

After this study was completed, it was found that genetics may play an increasing role in the function of Ancestral Recollection and the subconscious mind. To further encase this issue into a factual basis, one need only look at the study formed by Simon Kirby from the University of Edinburgh. In his study, he decided to create an alien language complete with pictures attached, their goal to factor if language development and adaptation through cultural evolution existed. Group participants were offered words with pictures, and the first group got every answer wrong. In order to further this notion, he made the participants that took part become the experimenters, offering their answer words to the next set.

In Conclusion

In current theory, there is a relationship based on 50% Nature and 50% Nurture, which genetics do not play the entire part to the equation that would define if ancestral recollection and sub-conscious existence is there. On the part of Monarch Butterflies, the article/s weighed heavy on topics such as migration and Circadian Rhythm. A Couple of the articles were university based along with genetic variables contained to bring together a larger picture. The articles based around the Orca whales offered insight into genetics, vocalization, and complex social patterns, all accurately explaining bits of their complexity while brandishing the larger concept as well. In terms of the human studies and articles brought about in their wake, accuracy was deemed acceptable because of the origins of the articles in universities and scientific communities.

In my opinion, based off the articles read, Ancestral Recollection is very real if only in the sub-conscious processes a species takes in order to go from one location to the other, or their migration patterns. To me, it is impossible to comprehend how else a whale or a monarch or any migrating species for that matter can go from one location to the other without either mass communication or some form of already formed memory of that location to begin with. The correlations between insulin and IBF2 and the interspecies landmark of the gene producing instinctual alles to satisfy the chromosomes requirements are too much to dismiss as coincidence. Haplotype genetic shutdown of particular humans alles within migration due to environmental sociological changes are also very hard to dismiss, mainly because of language and cultural development in humans. This would need to be further developed in understanding cultural evolution, but through this, Ancestral Recollection could be found.

Works Cited

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosome_6_(human)

. Retrieved from http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/178/40/s41

. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s125-002-8241-7
http://phys.org/news187298115.html

. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s125-002-8241-7

. Retrieved from http://phys.org/news187298115.html

. Retrieved from http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/eco_reserve/robsonb_er/Killer%20Whale%20Evolutionary%20Evaluation.pdf

. Retrieved from http://www.whalesbc.com/orca_killer_whales.html

. Retrieved from http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/killerwhale.htm

. Retrieved from http://theraptorlab.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/inside-the-mind-of-a-killer-whale-a-qa-with-the-neuroscientist-from-blackfish/

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_vocalization

. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptochrome

. Retrieved from http://jbiol.com/content/8/6/55

. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19335876?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn

Wikipedia. (n.d.). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplotype

. Retrieved from http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0603/feature2/images/mp_full.2.jpg

. Retrieved from http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/lec/the-%E2%80%9Calien-language%E2%80%9D-experiment/

. Retrieved from http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2012/07/18/27453/how-twins-separated-at-birth-inform-the-nature-ver/

. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24502977

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    Click to Rate This Article