Are mannarisms inheritable?

My dad had some unusual mannarisms mostly involving his hands and arms. I have rarely seen others move their hands and arms in the same way. He died three years ago following a long illness that left him very debilitated for many years.

My daughter is 6 years old and moves her hands and arms in the same way. The resemblence is striking. She didn’t know my dad, having only met him a few times before the age of three. Even then, I don’t think she would have witnessed the movements as he was quite ill and simply didn’t move much those final years.

My brother makes similar movements on occasion but not nearly to the degree my father did. I don’t do this at all, and none of the other siblings do it either. I know I avoid it because it is strange looking.

Do you think movements or mannarisms can be inheritable?

In short Yes!

My brother and I are seven years apart and are nearly identical in our speech, hand movements, and laughter. Many times on the phone our parents can not distinguish who is talking and I am routinely called by his name over the phone. He’s 40 and I’m 33, and this has gone on since my early teens…

There are studies claiming that twins, raised apart, share the same mannerisms nonetheless. However, WAG, I’d say your daughter may have picked up stuff from your brother’s movements (perhaps also movements you make that you’re unaware of at the time) and ended up moving her arms and hands like your father. You really can’t pin too much on inherited characteristics.

IMO these mannerisms are ‘picked up’ through observation. i’m on vacation right now in texas where i grew up and i’ve noticed more than a few mannerisms ‘resurface’ since i’ve been here. The most interesting one being the amount of cig’s per day i smoke returning to previous levels.

My mother has always been disturbed at the way I poke my tongue around in my cheek when I’m thinking very hard. Which is exactly what my father used to do.

I’m wondering if there might be subtle psychological mechanisms involved here; Suppose mannerism A exists that arises as a reaction to growing up while oberving mannerism B and vice versa; if this were the case, mannerisms A and B would be able to appear in alternate generations without any contact between a child and his/her grandparents.

Nearly into meme territory there, though.

I’m going to go with the old favorite: nature versus nurture. Some behavior traits are passed on genetically others through observation. People say my voice and mannerisms are identical to my father’s, which make’s for some interesting phone conversations when I’m home and people start talking assuming I’m him.

I’m going to go with the other favorite, nature AND nurture.

Some behavior is learned - OBVIOUSLY. The separated twin studies show that some behavior is inherited.

If I had one dream that I would make a Faustian bargain for, it would be to discover how genetics encodes behavior. It’s almost beyond imagination what the mechanism is for such specific behaviors. How cats know how to wash and pounce. How some four-legged animals know how to walk and run minutes after birth. How leopards are solitary, but lions are social.

It’s one thing to discover a gene that encodes a behavior, but to know exactly how it plays out at the molecular level is a mystery. A Nobel Prize awaits the person who figures it out. I think DNA and RNA are going to turn out to be a lot more complicated than Watson and Crick ever imagined.

I don’t know if mannerisms are inherited or learned, but when I met my brother in an airport after 25 years, he recognised me from far away because I walked just like our father. Apparently the way that I move my body and limbs is visually powerfully like the way that my father moved, as my brother was moved to tears by the resemblance.

There was a French movie, La Vie est un long fleuve tranquille, in which babies are switched at birth, so the child of the poor parents grows up in the rich family’s house, and vice versa. I know, I know, a real plot cliché. The switch is discovered when the kids are 12 years old. They go to their respective birth parents to meet them for the very first time.

The rich dad has a mannerism of wiping his face with his shoulder. Then the first time his newly repatriated son walks into the house he, of course, wipes his face with his shoulder.

My 3 month old daughter is mimicing exactly the unique gesture my wife made as an infant when she sucked her thumb.

She couldn’t have seen my wife do this, as Mrs. Moto’s thumbsucking days are well behind her.

My son can say a word, or move his head JUST like his dad did, and they didn’t spend a whole lot of time together. It’s just freaky.