Genetic Memory is memory that is recorded in the genetic material and stably inherited through cell division (mitosis or meiosis) in organisms. It is manifested in plants in the process called vernalization (promotion of flowering by a prolonged exposure to cold temperatures). Animals and humans exhibit genetic memory for example when the immune system is capable of learning to recognize pathogens and keeping a memory of this learning process. This is the basis of the success of vaccinations. What about psychological genetic memory? Memory that is present at birth that exists in the absence of sensory experience, and is incorporated into the genome over long spans of time? How much of an effect does this have on your life experiences today?
Anyone who has read just an inkling of this blog already knows that I have an obsession with Ancient Egypt (Kemet). I always wonder why I am so enamored by this civilization that existed so many years ago. Since the age of 12, I have been experiencing dreams of being a person living and dying in Ancient Egypt. Today I still experience dreams that are no doubt Egyptian-oriented. My taste in clothes, jewelry and food seem to always direct me to those ancient peoples. Some friends suggest that maybe I lived there in a past life. Could it simply be that my ancestors may have been Egyptian and somehow their experiences in memorium are encapsulized in the genes that have been passed down to me? In 2012, I can confidently say that I have had hundreds of ancestors throughout human history who have all contributed genetically in making me the person I am today. Looking from this perspective, it doesn't seem improbable that I would have similar interests as some of them.
In 2011, Karen Butler, an American woman from Oregon woke up from oral surgery with a British accent. After a year she is still suffering from malady that doctor's want to label, Foreign Accent Syndrome. Could it simply be that somehow the anesthesia or any other factor during the surgery somehow triggered her genetic memory to express itself? It's not far fetched to imagine that at least one of her ancestors must have been British? What about the thirteen year old Croation girl who woke up from a 24-hour coma unable to speak Croation but fluent German; a language she had just started learning in school? Could genetic memory from one of her German ancestors be the culprit?
So many questions and so little concrete answers. I for one do believe that Genetic Memory is a real phenomenon that affects our tastes more than we will ever know. Being that we are a walking genetic banks for all of our ancestors, they continue to live through us, Right? Well, that's a whole other story...