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Journal of the Union of Scientists - Varna. Medicine and Ecology Series

Imprinting: nature and manifestations in humans

Gabriela Panayotova, Piareta Nikolova, Raya Dimitrova, Antoniya Hachmeriyan, Dobrinka Doncheva, Zlatislav Stoyanov


Imprinting (filial and sexual) is a process of learning a key stimulus or complex stimuli during early critical periods of development, further determining the implementation of innate forms of behavior. The present literature review summarizes earlier and current data regarding the neurophysiology and neurochemistry of imprinting, and its potential benefits. Although, according to the classic views, imprinting is inherent in birds and some mammals, there are reasons to assume that imprinting or similar forms of learning also exist in humans. In the context of this assumption, the mechanisms of newborn-mother bonding and of assortative mate choice in humans are discussed.


filial imprinting; sexual imprinting; neural/molecular mechanisms; bonding/breastfeeding; mate choice

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