Recently a study on mice has shown that traumatic events experienced by a parent mouse can be passed down to subsequent generations. The study found “these transgenerational effects are inherited via parental gametes” (Dias, Ressler, 2014).
It is interesting to note that the initial trauma takes place before the conception of the next generation and yet they are still influenced by the historical trauma.
What might this say about humanity, our family traumatic experience, the use of genograms, and much more? While more research is needed the results of this study indicate a potential for our behavior (anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more) to be influenced by the experiences of our parents and grandparents, long before we were born.
Nature Neuroscience 17, 89–96 (2014)
Brian G Dias & Kerry J Ressler