Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Izumi Matsudaira

Assistant ProfessorHuman and Society

Mentor Information
Yasuyuki Taki (Smart-Aging Research Center)
Research Fields Neuroscience, Developmental psychology, Biological
Research Subjects
  • The association between parental life experiences and offspring's development
  • TNeural mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of psychological traits
  • TDevelopmental meaning of parent-offspring brain similarity
Academic Society Membership The Japan Neuroscience Society, Japanese Society of Biological Psychiatry
Research Outline  

It has been believed that any behavioral characteristics observed as “symptoms” of psychiatric and developmental disorders are part of an individual’s personality. A deeper understanding of the development of personality is needed to prevent one’s personality from becoming a difficulty or obstacle for the subject and people around them. In recent years, a phenomenon called intergenerational transmission has been reported, such as both parents and offspring developing mental illnesses, victims of childhood maltreatment abusing their own offspring, and parents’ traumatic experiences affecting their offspring’s phenotypes. However, the biological mechanisms underlying the relationship between intergenerational transmission and personality formation have not been elucidated. In addition, most prior studies have focused on mothers and offspring. To our knowledge, no studies have examined the differences or interactions between paternal and maternal intergenerational transmission effects on the offspring.

Against this background, we initiated a novel research project involving biological parent-offspring trios consisting of fathers, mothers, and offspring (Tranmit Radiant Individuality to Offspring: TRIO study). We are obtaining an array of data, including brain images, genetic information, life experiences, family relationships, mental health, personality, and intelligence, from each trio. This project challenges the understanding of the meaning of “generation,” “inheritance,” and “linkage” in the development of the human brain and behavior, by integrating not only genetics but also neuroscience, psychiatry, family psychology, and all other disciplines. We believe that our study has the potential to contribute to fostering permanent well-being across generations.

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