Describe the Process by Which Genes and Environment Operate Together to Influence Development.

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Describe the process by which genes and environment operate together to influence development. Discuss the significance of these processes for our understanding of child development. This essay will give a detailed account of the process by which genes and the environment operate together to influence development. Looking at Physical development and Language development and the perspectives of Natavism, Behaviourism. Constructivism and Social Constructivism it will explain the role of these perspectives in understanding child development. It is argued that the genetic blueprint can interact with the environment to encourage development. The process of genes and environment working together is often referred to as epigenetics and shows how environmental factors which can affect a parent can change the types of genes passed onto their children.

Looking at Physical Development it can be seen if the process of genes and environment operating together influence development. As the environment is constantly changing humankind needs to have changeable characteristics, some of which are physical, this is known as "Developmental Plasticity". Piaget studied water snails and found that shape of the snails shell varied depending on its habitat. Pond snails had longer shells than lake snails who had shorter shells to suit the water turbulence. Suggesting that cells have the properties to change and become "self-organising", cells can change the way they are developing in response to environmental stimuli. It is argued that genes can be switched "on" or "off" in response to this environmental stimuli and can alter the characteristics they produce.

"Piaget called this process "Epigenetic Development", Epigenetic information is constantly being acquired throughout development, giving the environment an active role in influencing development. The environment is shaping information in our genes and changing our physical development. Humankind standing on two...
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