Who you are, from your emotions to your mental health, may partially be a product of what hormones you got in the womb
According to new research released by scientists at Cardiff University and Cambridge University, the emotions and mental health of adults can be formed by what hormones they do or don’t get while in the womb.
Adults could be at greater risk of becoming anxious and vulnerable to poor mental health if they were deprived of certain hormones while developing in the womb according to new research by scientists at Cardiff and Cambridge universities.
New research in mice has revealed the role of the placenta in long-term programming of emotional behaviour and the first time scientists have linked changes in adult behaviour to alterations in placental function.
Insulin-like growth factor-2 has been shown to play a major role in fetal and placental development in mammals, and changes in expression of this hormone in the placenta and fetus are implicated in growth restriction in the womb.
“The growth of a baby is a very complex process and there are lots of control mechanisms which make sure that the nutrients required by the baby to grow can be supplied by the mother,” according to Professor Lawrence Wilkinson, a behavioural neuroscientist from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology who led the research.
The research immediately brings to mind psychotherapist Sanislav Grof’s perinatal matrices—fetal experiences in utero which later shape adult psychology—which Grof discovered first through the use of LSD in therapy and then through holotropic breathing when LSD became illegal. (You can learn more about that in Grof’s Holotropic Breathwork.)