Robert J. Noone, PhD
A premise derived from Bowen theory is that variation in the basic adaptiveness or lifetime fitness of individuals is based in a nonrandom multigenerational transmission process which includes, but involves more than, genetic transmission. Among humans, and probably other species, it involves an orderly relationship process which during prenatal and postnatal development shapes the overall responsiveness and functioning of individuals to their environment throughout the life course.
The nongenetic transmission of behavior is generally regarded as learned. Recent research related to maternal influence on the prenatal neuroendocrine development of offspring suggests that another phenotype transmission process is involved. It is posited that a third form of heritable variation, in addition to those of genetic and cultural transmission may exist and that it is consistent with and an element in the multigenerational transmission process defined in Bowen theory.