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.