Fear can be inherited

Parents’ and even grandparents’ experiences echo in offspring

By Laura Sanders, 16:52 PM November 27, 2013

Along with eye color, height and dimples, parents’ fears can pass down to children, scientists report December 1 in Nature Neuroscience. The results, from experiments with mice, suggest how fallout from a person’s traumatic experiences might ripple through generations.

Mouse parents learned to associate the scent of orange blossoms with a shock. Their children and their grandchildren startled in response to the scent — a sign of fear — even though they had never smelled it before. Offspring al...

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