To what extent are human beings capable of changing their physical characteristics and behavioural patterns over the course of their lives? This question has engaged scientists for decades: the fundamental issue is plasticity. In this wide-ranging book, Richard Lerner explores the relevant theory and empirical evidence in a variety of disciplines: molecular genetics, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, evolutionary biology, anthropology, comparative and developmental psychology, and sociology. The processes studied by each of these disciplines show evidence of plasticity. Conclusions about plasticity have important implications for interventions aimed at enhancing human life, as well as for future research agendas. On the Nature of Human Plasticity will be a valuable resource for all those scientists concerned with human development at biological and social levels and for their students.