Objective: To depict the processes through which animals and human beings engage their environment in continuously evolving states of conflict and cooperation.
Method: Descriptive literature review.
Results: Life history outcomes are more relative than they are absolute. Genetic variations play a crucial role, but heavily influencing behavioral outcomes, psychopathology included, are external cues that epigenetically remodel DNA along experience-dependent signaling pathways. The result is phenotypes that either optimize adjustment, or constrain it.
Discussion: Knowledge of epigenetic mechanisms may help shed new light on the origin of maturational phenotypes underlying eating disorders and why adjusting treatments to these realities warrants our attention.
Keywords: development; environment; epigenetics; genes.
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.