Universal Human Commonalities (UHC)

Phonemic System

Phonemic systems are found in all languages, acting as the foundation for all “higher order linguistic structures which make up the complete language system.” Users of a language hold in their minds a considerable amount of information regarding their phonemic systems, including the complete inventory of phonemic units, the rules governing the combination of phonemes, and the sounds and articulations associated with each phoneme.

Affection Exchange

Expressing and receiving affection has been called a "fundamental human need." Recent research has generated scientific data that verbal and "supportive" affection have not only mental but physiologically beneficial reactions. The data showed that when people who were undergoing stress were offered verbal and "supportive" affection by an emotionally significant relation, cortisol reactivity was lower compared to not receiving any such affection.


Mineralocorticoids are hormones that regulate the concentration of minerals in the body. Similar to eicosanoids, which regulate water re-absorption in the kidneys, certain mineralocorticoids regulate sodium re-absorption in the kidneys.

Alpha Cell

Like beta cells, alpha cells are found in the pancreas. When the blood glucose level dips too low, the body tells alpha cells to make and release a hormone called glucagon, which travels to and tells the liver to release glucose into the blood for energy.

Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH)

The hormone ACTH or Adrenocorticotropic hormone, through a series of complex processes, regulates the secretion of glucocorticoids - another hormone in humans that assists with metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates.


Norepinphrine is a hormone very similar to epinephrine (AKA adrenaline). The two hormones are secreted by the adrenal glands, specifically the adrenal medulla, as a response to emotional or physical stress. They both inhibit 'non-essential' processes and increase metabolic rates. Norepinphrine in particular constricts blood vessels to increase blood pressure.


Developmental psychologist Martin Hoffman posited that "empathic distress, a vicarious feeling through empathy, is transformed into an altruistic motivation." As such, empathy to Hoffman is not a feeling in and of itself but a process that facilitates empathic distress and empathic altruism.


Glucocorticoids are 21-carbon corticosteroids produced by the adrenal cortex (on the edge of the adrenal glands). They affect carbohydrate and protein metabolism, as well as water and electrolyte balance. These molecules have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive activity. Some of their actions are at the level of gene regulation.

Same Genes

Genes are the basic physical and functional units of heredity contained in cellular structures called chromosomes. Genes are specific sequences of DNA bases that encode instructions on how to make proteins. Genes comprise only about 2% of the human genome, an organism’s complete set of DNA.

Photo Credit: 
U.S. Department of Energy Genome Programs (http://genomicscience.energy.gov)

Development of Phonemic System

To speak a language, one must understand the units that make up the sounds of speech, known as phonemes. The usage of phonemes and syllables in writing systems was a late development in the history of written language. The alphabetic system, which requires abstraction of phonemes, was the last facet of language to appear, making the segmentation of phonemes more difficult than the segmentation of syllables.


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