Article

¿Representan las endorfinas la base bioquímica de la herencia de la información mental?

Suma Psicológica, ISSN 0121-4381, Vol. 16, Nº. 2, 2009, pags. 7-14
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT In a recent article (06/2009), Halabe Bucay presents the hypothesis that endorphins can be a core element in the transmission of mental information produced during life to the next generation. This paper argues that Bucay�s model is based on four essential axioms, which are subject to debate. The aim of this paper is to discuss these specific axioms and evaluate the feasibility of the hypothesis. The specific axioms are: 1. �Endorphins act directly on different sperm function which implies their influence on the genetic expressivity of the same�; 2. Exogenous opioids affect genes and this could be a means through which acquired information could be transmitted to the next generations under the influence of endogenous opioids; 3. �Mental information produced through life� could be transmitted; 4. Endorphins are specifically related to the presumed phenomenon, thus justifying the epistemological frame. The four axioms are contested by most (if not all) studies addressing these specific issues which leads us to conclude that the hypothesis cannot be held. At the same time, the hypothesis presents a timely opportunity to discuss the role of neuropeptides on behavior and their possible role in the constitution of the brain, in regard to which we add that it is possible that endorphin levels within fetal and neonate milieus are associated with epigenic processes (e.g., methylations) and produce lifelong effects �although we do not develop this idea further, since it would require a totally different focus, based on completely different axioms�. En un artículo reciente (06/2009) Halabe Bucay presenta la hipótesis de que las endorfinas pueden ser un elemento clave en la transmisión a la siguiente generación de información mental producida a lo largo de la vida. Este artículo sostiene que el modelo de Bucay está basado en cuatro axiomas esenciales, sujetos a debate. El objetivo de este artículo es discutir esos axiomas específicos y evaluar la viabilidad de la hipótesis. Los axiomas específicos son: 1) �Las endorfinas actúan directamente en funciones espermáticas diferentes, lo que implica una influencia en la expresividad genética de las mismas�, 2) Los opioides exógenos afectan los genes y éste puede ser un medio a través del cual se puede transmitir la información adquirida a la siguiente generación bajo la influencia de opioides endógenos; 3) La información mental producida a lo largo de la vida puede ser transmitida; 4) Las endorfinas están específicamente relacionadas con el presunto fenómeno, lo que justifica el marco epistemológico. Los cuatro axiomas son refutados por la mayoría (si no todos) de los estudios que abordan estos temas específicos, lo que nos lleva a concluir que dicha hipótesis no se sostiene. Al mismo tiempo, la hipótesis presenta una oportunidad única para discutir el papel de los neuropéptidos en el comportamiento y su posible rol en la constitución del cerebro. Al respecto, agregamos que es posible que los niveles de endorfinas en los entornos fetal y neonatal estén asociados con procesos epigenéticos (por ejemplo, la metilación) y tengan efectos a lo largo de toda la vida, �aunque no desarrollamos en profundidad esta idea por cuanto ello requeriría un enfoque totalmente diferente, basado en axiomas completamente distintos�.

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