Week Two: Epigenesis- Nature and Nurture

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As a student with a large psychology and biology background, I am continuously fascinated with how much the two subjects overlap and complement one another. Recently, I have been interested in the topic of epigenesis,which occurs when events change how our genes are expressed. Differing from my previous understanding, the presence of a gene does not necessarily determine a particular trait, rather, the trait only occurs if the expression of that gene takes place. Therefore, environmental events, such as diet, stress, and drugs, can actually result in phenotypic and behavioral changes. Although many individuals now agree that both environment and biology play critical roles in determinism, this process further supports the relationship.

Specifically relating to psychology and biology is the topic of neurobehavioral epigenesis. This subject may be an explanation for the differences in development of mental disorders and other behaviors in individuals with similar backgrounds and experiences. Even though the two individuals have experienced virtually the same events, one may exhibit significant stress or trauma related to an event. Also, it is helpful in the prevention of mental disorders. If a person has a lower genetic threshold for developing an abnormal behavior such as alcoholism or depression, it may be useful to educate the individual and, possibly, decrease the chances of a particular gene from being expressed.


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This page contains a single entry by walsh414 published on January 25, 2013 6:18 PM.

Week One: Introduction was the previous entry in this blog.

Week Three: Drosophilia and Other Embryo in Development is the next entry in this blog.

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