Genetic and environmental effects on same-sex sexual behavior:
Oxford University Press How do we become who we are?
The one says genes determine an individual while the other claims the environment is the linchpin for development. New research into epigenetics—the science of how the environment influences genetic expression—is changing the conversation.
As psychologist David S.
Moore explains in his newest book, The Developing Genome, this burgeoning field reveals that what counts is not what genes you have so much as what your genes are doing.
Factors like stress, nutrition, and exposure to toxins all play a role in how genes are expressed—essentially which genes are turned on or off. Unlike the static conception Nature nurture working together nature or nurture, epigenetic research demonstrates how genes and environments continuously interact to produce characteristics throughout a lifetime.
We spoke with Moore to find out more about the science of epigenetics, its impact on the nature versus nurture debate, and the hopes and cautions that come with such a potentially revolutionary line of research. How does the science of epigenetics change the seemingly age-old nature versus nurture debate?
For the longest time, the nature-nurture debate has been cast as a kind of contest between genes and experiences.
The thought was that we might have some characteristics that are caused primarily by genetic factors and other characteristics that are caused primarily by experiential factors. Nature and nurture are always working together to produce all of our traits.
Can you describe a study that you feel illustrates the science of epigenetics? The one that has drawn the most attention has been the one done by a team of researchers led by Michael Meaney and Moshe Szyf at McGill University.
These researchers watched how rat mothers interacted with their babies. They discovered that some mothers naturally lick and groom their baby rats more than other mothers do. They also noticed that the mothers that licked and groomed their rats the most wound up with offspring that grew up to be adults that were less stressed out when they were put into mildly stressful situations.
The mothers that licked and groomed their baby rats less wound up with offspring that were more stressed out.
In order to determine if this was an effect of experience, the researchers cross fostered the baby rats, so the ones born to the high licking and grooming mothers were raised by the low licking and grooming mothers. What they found was that it was the perinatal experience that made all the difference.
So the question was, how can it be that these kinds of early experiences can have these long-term effects later on in adulthood? Meaney and Szyf traced the effect to epigenetics.Is Personality More Nature or More Nurture? Behavioral and Molecular Genetics by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike International License, except where otherwise noted.
Jan 19, · Either could be the case, or it could be the two, nature and nurture, working together. However when she shows a similarity in behavior to a relative that she rarely spends time with, I have to think that genetics might be credited to metin2sell.coms: 2.
May 13, · Nature vs. Nurture.
"Nature and nurture work together to produce a personality the way humidity and cold come together to generate snow," says Jerome Kagan, Ph.D., Phone: () Nature and nurture work together in behavior. Moreover, the science of epigenetics is showing just how complex things can get -- environmental factors can turn off genes, and the effects of this.
New research on early brain development provides a wonderful opportunity to examine how nature and nurture work together to shape human development. Through the use of sophisticated technology, scientists have discovered how early brain development and caregiver-child relationships interact to create a foundation for future growing and learning.
May 11, · A study of fruit fly larvae leads researchers to conclude that nature and nurture do collaborate in determining the behavior of a population. Researchers at Rice found a genetic correlation between learning and behavioral plasticity in relation to changing conditions.