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Homeostasis, homeorhesis, and the “logic of life”: Envisaging plasticity and stability in molecular research on trauma and its effects

Lloyd, Stephanie and Larivée, Alexandre and Lutz, Pierre-Eric (2022) Homeostasis, homeorhesis, and the “logic of life”: Envisaging plasticity and stability in molecular research on trauma and its effects. [Preprint]

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Abstract

How does a trait develop, and what makes it persist? This question is at the heart of studies of 21st-century neurosciences that attempt to identify how people develop specific personality traits and how these may become permanently anchored in their neurobiological profiles and temperaments. Such studies have documented the neuromolecular effects of early life adversity and have contributed to an understanding of subsequent life trajectories as being disproportionately affected by early negative experiences. This view has arisen despite little evidence of the stability of the presumably early-developed molecular traits and their potential effects on phenotypes Moreover, the overall understanding of these trajectories raises questions as to the origin of the potential stability of molecular traits: namely, whether they simply persist or whether they are actively maintained, and potentially augmented by, ongoing life adversity. These two perspectives have potentially significant implications for the understanding of the malleability of life trajectories and commitments to support people in shaping their trajectories. Through an analysis of historical and contemporary scientific literature and ethnographic research with neuroscientists, we consider how trauma came to be associated with specific psychological and neurobiological effects grounded in understandings of homeostasis and homeorhesis (trajectories). We then consider the ways in which neuroscientific researchers conceptualize the relationships between early adversity and elevated suicide risk later in life. We conclude with a consideration of the conceptual, ontological, and ethical implications of framing persistent life traits as the result of the persistence of long-embodied biological traits, persistent life environments, or both.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Lloyd, Stephaniestephanie.lloyd@ant.ulaval.ca0000-0001-6099-376X
Larivée, Alexandrealexandre.larivee.1@ulaval.ca0000-0003-1325-5099
Lutz, Pierre-Ericpierreeric.lutz@gmail.com0000-0003-3383-1604
Keywords: neuroscience, plasticity, homeorhesis, behavioural epigenetics, early life adversity, trauma
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Depositing User: Dr Pierre-Eric Lutz
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2022 03:44
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 03:44
Item ID: 20513
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Date: 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20513

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