Dr. Oded Rechavi: Genes & the Inheritance of Memories Across Generations


Huberman Lab

In this episode, my guest is Oded Rechavi, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology at Tel Aviv University and expert in how genes are inherited, how experiences shape genes and remarkably, how some memories of experiences can be passed via genes to offspring. We discuss his research challenging long-held tenets of genetic inheritance and the relevance of those findings to understanding key biological and psychological processes including metabolism, stress and trauma. He describes the history of the scientific exploration of the “heritability of acquired traits” and how epigenetics and RNA biology can account for some of the passage of certain experience-based memories. He discusses the importance of model organisms in scientific research and describes his work on how stressors and memories can be passed through small RNA molecules to multiple generations of offspring in ways that meaningfully affect their behavior. Nature vs. nurture is a commonly debated theme; Dr. Rechavi’s work represents a fundamental shift in our understanding of that debate, as well as genetic inheritance, brain function and evolution.

For the full show notes, visit hubermanlab.com.

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(00:00:00) Dr. Oded Rechavi

(00:02:25) Sponsor: LMNT

(00:06:04) DNA, RNA, Protein; Somatic vs. Germ Cells

(00:14:36) Lamarckian Evolution, Inheritance of Acquired Traits

(00:22:54) Paul Kammerer & Toad Morphology

(00:25:16) Sponsor: AG1

(00:30:06) James McConnell & Memory Transfer

(00:37:31) Weismann Barrier; Epigenetics

(00:45:13) Epigenetic Reprogramming; Imprinted Genes

(00:50:43) Nature vs. Nurture; Epigenetics & Offspring

(00:59:06) Generational Epigenetic Inheritance

(01:10:20) Model Organisms, C. elegans

(01:21:50) C. elegans & Inheritance of Acquired Traits, Small RNAs

(01:26:02) RNA Interference, C. elegans & Virus Immunity

(01:34:13) RNA Amplification, Multi-Generational Effects

(01:38:41) Response Duration & Environment

(01:47:50) Generational Memory Transmission, RNA

(01:59:36) Germ Cells & Behavior; Body Cues

(02:04:48) Transmission of Sexual Choice

(02:11:22) Fertility & Human Disease; 3-Parent In Vitro Fertilization (IVF); RNA Testing

(02:17:56) Deliberate Cold Exposure, Learning & Memory

(02:29:26) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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