Epigenetics Play Cupid for Prairie Voles By Kate Yandell | June 2, 2013
Females of the pair-bonded rodent species become attached to their lifelong mates following histone modifications near oxytocin and vasopressin receptor genes.
Excerpt: “…work in other species gave him clues that epigenetics could be important for social behavior. For instance, previous work suggests that modifications are involved in bonds between mothers and offspring in rats.”
My comment: The epigenetic effects on bonding in mammals are nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in my model of Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled Adaptive Evolution. Cause and effect is exemplified in model organisms in Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled thermodynamics and thermoregulation. Mutations theory is abandoned to favor Darwin’s ‘conditions of life’ portrayal. Obviously, these nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled conditions of life precede Natural Selection, which is why mutations theory must be abandoned.
Re: “It’s the first time anyone’s shown any epigenetic basis for partner preference,” said Jeremy Day…
No, it is not the first time anyone’s shown any epigenetic basis for partner preference. In fact, the epigenetic basis for partner preference was reviewed in Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation, Simon LeVay wrote: “This model is attractive in that it solves the “binding problem” of sexual attraction. By that I mean the problem of why all the different features of men or women (visual appearance and feel of face, body, and genitals; voice quality, smell; personality and behavior, etc.) attract people as a more or less coherent package representing one sex, rather than as an arbitrary collage of male and female characteristics. If all these characteristics come to be attractive because they were experienced in association with a male- or female-specific pheromone, then they will naturally go together even in the absence of complex genetically coded instructions.” (p. 210)
Clearly, the model LeVay comments on is one of epigenetic effects on sexual attraction. We were the first to detail the most important aspects of this “binding problem” in the context of our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review: From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior. See, for example, our section title “Molecular epigenetics.” Also see: Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.