Can the stress that an animal experiences in its lifetime be inherited by its progeny? Yes
“What explains this pattern? Does trauma lead to suboptimal parenting, which leads to abnormal behavior in children, which later affects their own parenting style? Or can you biologically inherit the effects of your parents’ stress, after all?”
“It may be the latter. In a study that I, together with my colleagues Hiba Zaidan and Micah Leshem, recently published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, we found that a relatively mild form of stress in female rats, before pregnancy, affected their offspring in a way that appeared to be unrelated to parental care.”
“When rats or mice are put under duress, particularly during early development, their second and third generation offspring exhibit behavioral irregularities. Studies have shown that stress to male mice — which are minimally involved in their offspring’s care — also affects their offspring’s behavior, suggesting that “parenting style” is not the issue.”
In my model (which to date is the only model in behavior consistent with the principles of thermodynamics, most especially the Constructal Law, and the laws of motion, and the theory of Common Descent) the mechanics of physical motion serve double duty as the mechanics for emotion. Thus an animal doesn’t distinguish between its physical and emotional equilibrium. Thus, the efficiency of smooth forward motion serves as a metric for efficient emotional flow. Stress is therefore the “heat” acquired as a physical memory of emotional expression that met with resistance. Stress is a force of acceleration that has been internalized and stored because it couldn’t flow smoothly. It is a potential energy that waits for the correct configuration to occur in its environment so as to be released and finally carried to a point of terminus. All aspects of this can take many, many generations to be requited.
In addition to stress being a record of interpersonal interactions, it is also a bodily record of the very ground over which the organism has travelled, an emotional topographic map of both its relationships and physical surroundings as well. Physical memories are transferred not only from individual to individual (this is the real currency in transaction in any interaction between any two animals no matter their species, no matter the context, rather than it being about the adaptive value of their traits in terms of survival or reproductive success.) but also through Time. The thermodynamic nature of emotion with this inverse and equivalent relation to stress, in conjunction with the universality of emotion within all forms of life, means that it is a network form of information so that the flow of organisms integrates in order to form an interconnected system which then serves to improve the flow of natural forces in the environment.
The network function of Emotion becoming Unresolved Emotion on its way to becoming Resolved Emotion, is why an individual organism is a stress magnet, we have evolved to be sponges that soak up stress rather than joy. Stress is cumulative. Stress is our default setting, only by integrating with the network can stress be resolved back into joy, a feeling of weightlessness. (see Starling Murmurations)
One collective mind operating about a common center of gravity, the phase states of hundreds of thousands of states of attraction, kept aloft in counterbalances, held in suspension, all individuals informed at the speed of light by a universal principle of emotional conductivity.