IVF sperm donors can pass their last memories to children who are conceived following the donors death


Dias & Ressler’s new paper which indicates that fear conditioned memories from male IVF donor mice can be inherited by both their children, as well as their grandchildren, even though they had been killed by the IVF harvesting procedure, some time before their offspring were even conceived.

Their paper “Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations” was published on the 1st December:


Brian Dias has confirmed to me privately that the fear conditioned rodent fathers used within their IVF studies were killed during the sperm harvesting process, just like they were in Eric Nestler’s 2011 study.

Dias & Ressler didn’t carry out any behavioral studies on the IVF offspring which is a pity, only neuroanatomical studies.

Neuroanatomical changes definitely seem to be inherited in both the First Generation IVF offspring, and the Second Generation natural-conception offspring.

However the interesting part for me is in fig 4 of their paper which I’ve copied below.

The First Generation IVF offspring (fig 4. graph i & j) seem to exhibit consistently smaller neuroanatomical changes, than even Second Generation natural-conception offspring (fig 4. graph g & h). This looks to me like it might be a similar result as Nestler et. al (2011), discussed in my previous post.


I’ve produced a table comparing these results for Naturally Conceived Offspring vs IVF Offspring in each experiment. The values are not accurate, I’ve just estimated them roughly from the charts above. However the table more clearly demonstrates the consistent drop for IVF Offspring.

Study Natural Conception
1st Gen. Offspring
In vitro fertilisation
2nd Gen. Offspring
Propanol/Dorsal 2000 1500 (-25%)
Acetophenone/Dorsal 3000 2000 (-33%)
Propanol/Medial 2000 1800 (-10%)
Acetophenone/Medial 3200 2500 (-22%)

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