Epigenetics and Behavior: Exploring Biological Determinants of Behavior discusses the evolutionary basis of neurodevelopmental regulation of gene expression by experience (epigenetics). While many areas of scientific inquiry have sought to understand what determines the variation in human attributes (phenotypes) that have consistent trait-like features, including anxiety or fearlessness, aggressive or non-aggressive behavior, social or antisocial behavior, charitable or miserly traits, and so forth, this book takes a comprehensive approach.
Over the lifespan of a particular individual, these traits, although flexible, are often highly consistent. The "nature-nurture or "genes versus environment discussion is one of the longstanding arguments in all philosophical inquiry. And now, as we stand on the threshold of a complete understanding of the most fundamental question about human nature, all a result of combined empirical and theoretical advances in epigenetics which influence developmental psychobiology and evolutionary biology, the science is rapidly progressing.
With the advent of epigenetics, we now have a mechanism (or mechanisms, really) to explain how this process works at a molecular level - that is, evolutionary selected mechanisms of gene-environment interactions are literally "written into our genetic code. This book draws together the knowledge and ideas from the different fields that collectively have answered the "nature-nurture discussion.
- Integrates the findings of developmental psychobiology with epigenetics in an evolutionary context
- Written to convey a new perspective on epigenetic effects on behavior, while maintaining fluid writing prose for the uninformed reader
- Assembles knowledge from a number of fields, including developmental psychobiology, genomics, epigenetics, and evolutionary biology to paint a precise picture of epigenetic influences on personality
2. Gene x Environment Interactions in Sensory and Perceptual Development
3. Gene x Environment Interactions in Intellectual Development
4. Gene x Environment Interactions in Emotional Development: Social Deprivation in Primates
5. Gene x Environment Interactions in Emotional Development: Social Deprivation in Rodents
6. Deprivation of Social Play in Rodents: Isolation Rearing
7. Isolation Housing of Adult Rodents
8. Specificity of the Effects of Early Life Experiences and the Importance of Critical Periods
10. Evolutionary Implications of Epigenetically Mediated Neurodevelopmental Programs
Dr. F. Scott Hall is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toledo. Dr. Hall's research investigates the genetic and environmental determinants of susceptibility to addiction and related psychiatric disorders. After a B.A. from Harvard University (1987) and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1994, Dr. Hall completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. Dr. Hall joined the Molecular Neurobiology Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 1999 where he led the behavioral genetics group until 2014. He has authored over a hundred scientific publications and is a fellow of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society. Dr. Hall is recognized internationally as an expert in the genetic basis of addiction and the role that early social experience plays in shaping adult behavior and behavioral pathology.
Perona, Maria T.G.
Behavioral Biology Research Center, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus, Baltimore, MD, USA