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Cognitive BiologyDealing with Information from Bacteria to Minds$
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Gennaro Auletta

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608485.001.0001

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(p.335) 11 Epigeny
Cognitive Biology

Gennaro Auletta

Oxford University Press

Here, I deal with the general nature and significance of epigeny. Then, some fundamental mechanisms operating during the epigenetic process are considered. The core of this chapter is represented by the analysis of the steps of epigeny (especially embryogenesis and organogenesis will be considered). A specific but very relevant aspect is the way in which the brain develops and how a functional organization of the brain is superposed to a developmentally previous one having a simple structural character. Another important issue is the significance of the Waddington effect, one of the first phenomena to have attracted the attention of scholars to this field. Finally, the relations between phylogeny, ontogeny, and epigeny are framed in a wider synthesis.

Keywords:   epigeny, embryogenesis, organogenesis, Waddington effect, hierarchy, teleonomy, teleology

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