Behavior Genetics

Gene Expression

Tag archives for Behavior Genetics

Doberman Pinscher with OCD

In the wake of my post on selection and variation in dog skull shape, I thought it would be useful to point to this short paper, A canine chromosome 7 locus confers compulsive disorder susceptibility. Here’s the conclusion: The highly significant association of CCD with the CDH2 region on chromosome 7 is the first genetic…

Face recognition not correlated with IQ

Heritability of the Specific Cognitive Ability of Face Perception: What makes one person socially insightful but mathematically challenged, and another musically gifted yet devoid of a sense of direction? Individual differences in general cognitive ability are thought to be mediated by “generalist genes” that affect many cognitive abilities similarly without specific genetic influences on particular…

Humans are naughty & nice by nature

We May Be Born With an Urge to Help: What is the essence of human nature? Flawed, say many theologians. Vicious and addicted to warfare, wrote Hobbes. Selfish and in need of considerable improvement, think many parents. But biologists are beginning to form a generally sunnier view of humankind. Their conclusions are derived in part…

The genetics of schizophrenia

Below I repeated the contention that while schizophrenia is a genuine biologically rooted behavioral disease which can not be cured through will, many forms of addiction are not. That is why the genetics of schizophrenia are of such great interest, if the biological pathways of the pathology can be elucidated presumably a cure may be…

Earlier today I linked to a Jonah Leher post on food that hooks into the role that dopamine plays in our decision making. Dopamine looms in the neuroscience angle of Jonah’s book How We Decide because the chemical’s role in cognition is established. Dopamine related genes are often fingered in behavior genetic studies as the…

Alex Tabarrok points me to a new paper on the effects of Toxoplasma gondii, Increased incidence of traffic accidents in Toxoplasma-infected military drivers and protective effect RhD molecule revealed by a large-scale prospective cohort study: We confirmed, using for the first time a prospective cohort study design, increased risk of traffic accidents in Toxoplasma-infected subjects…

Neurotypicals are irrational beasts

Arnold Kling highlights this section from a Scientific American article, The Science of Economic Bubbles and Busts: But behavioral economics experiments routinely show that despite similar outcomes, people (and other primates) hate a loss more than they desire a gain, an evolutionary hand-me-down that encourages organisms to preserve food supplies or to weigh a situation…

Common problem with loci presumed to have psychological or behavioral effects, Report on Gene for Depression Is Now Faulted: The original finding, published in 2003, created a sensation among scientists and the public because it offered the first specific, plausible explanation of why some people bounce back after a stressful life event while others plunge…

MAOA and violence

The locus MAOA pops up every year or so in a study which attempts to correlate variation in these region with behavior. In particular, anti-social or pathological behavior. So another one is out, Monoamine oxidase A genotype is associated with gang membership and weapon use: The low MAOA activity alleles conferred an increased risk of…

When I found out a while back that Jonah Lehrer‘s next book was titled How We Decide, I knew I was going to check it out. It’s no coincidence that I recently reviewed Predictably Irrational, I blog because I’m interested in reducing the human animal down its basic units of organization. Due to my disciplinary…