What is it about?

Epigenetics is one of the most exciting areas of contemporary biology, and recent work has begun to examine the psychological processes that may influence gene expression. This study looked at whether healthy behaviours and the motivation underpinning these processes were associated with the methylation of the TNF gene.

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Why is it important?

As far we are aware, this is the first study to extend self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2017) research to the genetic level. Direct effects was positively associated with methylation of the TNF gene. Further investigation using path analysis showed this effect did not persist with the inclusion of healthy behaviour. Validating previous work, high-quality self-determined motivation appears to be an important ingredient for increasing healthy behaviour, and this behaviour is associated with epigenetic processes.

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This page is a summary of: Health-related motivational and behavioral processes associated with DNA methylation of the TNF gene., Health Psychology, September 2019, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/hea0000795.
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