Behavioral Genetics

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2016-10-02
  • Publisher: Worth Publishers

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Supplemental Materials

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Devling into the field’s underlying principles, defining experiments, ongoing controversies, and most recent discoveries, Behavioral Genetics familiarizes you with the most important topics related to the field today.


Author Biography

Valerie S. Knopik is Director of the Division of Behavioral Genetics at Rhode Island Hospital and Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry & Human Behavior and Behavioral & Social Sciences at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. She received her doctorate in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2000, where she worked with John DeFries and conducted research in the Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center. She subsequently completed a fellowship in psychiatric genetics and genetic epidemiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis from 2000-2002 and continued as junior faculty for two years. She joined the faculty at Brown University in 2004 and holds an Adjunct Associate Professor appointment at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. Knopik’s primary area of interest is the joint effect of genetic and environmental (specifically prenatal and early postnatal) risk factors on child and adolescent externalizing behavior, associated learning and cognitive deficits, and later substance use. She serves as Associate Editor of Behavior Genetics and Field Chief Editor of Frontiers in Behavioral and Psychiatric Genetics. Her work has been recognized by the Research Society for Alcoholism as a finalist for Enoch Gordis Research Recognition Award, the NIDA Genetics Workgroup, and she received the Fuller and Scott Early Career Award from the Behavior Genetics Association in 2007.  

Jenae M. Neiderhiser is Liberal Arts Research Professor of Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University. After receiving her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University in 1994, she joined the faculty of the Center for Family Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., advancing from Assistant Research Professor to Professor from 1994 to 2007. In 2007 she joined the Department of Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University and also holds the appointment of Professor of Human Development and affiliate scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center. Neiderhiser’s work has focused on how genes and environments work together throughout the lifespan. She has had a particular focus on genotype-environment correlation and how individuals shape their own environments, especially within the family. In her pursuit of this question she has collaborated on developing a number of novel or underutilized research designs including the Extended Children of Twins and an ongoing prospective adoption study, the Early Growth and Development Study. Neiderhiser is an associate editor for the Journal of Research on Adolescence and Frontiers in Behavioral and Psychiatric Genetics and is on the editorial board of several developmental psychology journals.

John C. DeFries is professor of psychology and faculty fellow of the Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado, Boulder. After receiving his doctorate in agriculture (with specialty training in quantitative genetics) from the University of Illinois in 1961, he remained on the faculty of the University of Illinois for six years. In 1962, he began research on mouse behavioral genetics, and the following year he was a research fellow in genetics at the University of California, Berkeley. After returning to Illinois in 1964, DeFries initiated an extensive genetic analysis of open-field behavior in laboratory mice. Three years later, he joined the Institute for Behavioral Genetics, and he served as its director from 1981 to 2001. DeFries and Steve G. Vandenberg founded the journal Behavior Genetics in 1970, and DeFries and Robert Plomin founded the Colorado Adoption Project in 1975. For over three decades, DeFries’s major research interest has concerned the genetics of reading disabilities, founding the Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center with Richard K. Olson in 1990. He served as president of the Behavior Genetics Association in 1982 and 1983, receiving the association’s Th. Dobzhansky Award for Outstanding Research in 1992; and he became a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Section J, Psychology) in 1994 and the Association for Psychological Science in 2009.

 Robert Plomin is MRC Research Professor of Behavioral Genetics at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. He received his doctorate in psychology from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1974, one of the few graduate programs in psychology that offered a specialty in behavioral genetics at that time. He then became an assistant professor at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he began working with John DeFries. Together, they created the longitudinal Colorado Adoption Project of behavioral development, which has continued for more than 30 years. Plomin worked at Pennsylvania State University from 1986 until 1994, when he moved to the Institute of Psychiatry in London to help launch the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre. The goal of his research is to bring together genetic and environmental research strategies to investigate behavioral development. Plomin is now conducting a study of all twins born in England during the period 1994 to 1996, focusing on developmental delays in childhood. He is a past president of the Behavior Genetics Association (1989-1990) and has received lifetime achievement awards from the Behavior Genetics Association (2002), American Psychological Society (2005), the Society for Research in Child Development (2005), and the International Society for Intelligence Research (2011).

Table of Contents



CHAPTER 1  Overview

CHAPTER 2 Historical Perspective

The Era of Darwin

Charles Darwin

Francis Galton

Box 2.1 Francis Galton

Pre-Mendelian Concepts of Heredity and Variation




CHAPTER 3 Mendel's Laws and Beyond

Mendel’s Laws

Mendel’s First Law of Heredity

Box 3.1 Gregor Mendel’s Luck

Mendel’s Second Law of Heredity

Box 3.2 How Do We Know That 1 in 50 People Are Carriers for PKU?

Beyond Mendel’s Laws

Complex Traits

Multiple Gene Inheritance

Quantitative Genetics

Box 3.3 Liability-Threshold Model of Disorders

X-Chromosome: An Extension to Mendel’s Laws


CHAPTER 4 The Biological Basis of Heredity


Box 4.1 The "Central Dogma" of Molecular Genetics



CHAPTER 5 Animal Models in Behavioral Genetics

Quantitative Genetic Experiments to Investigate Animal Behavior

Selection Studies

Inbred Strain Studies

Animal Studies for Identifying Genes and Gene Functions

Creating Mutations

Quantitative Trait Loci

Synteny Homology


CHAPTER 6  Nature, Nurture and Human Behavior

Investigating the Genetics of Human Behavior

Adoption Designs

Box 6.1 The First Adoption Study of Schizophrenia

Box 6.2 Issues in Adoption Studies

Twin Design

Box 6.3 The Twin Method    



CHAPTER 7 Estimating Genetic and Environmental Influences


Box 7.1 Estimating Heritability Directly from DNA

Interpreting Heritability


Shared Environment

Nonshared Environment

Estimating Shared and Nonshared Environmental Influences

Identifying Specific Nonshared Environment

Identifying Specific Nonshared Environment That Predicts Behavioral Outcomes

Multivariate Analysis


Chapter 8 The Interplay between Genes and Environment

Beyond Heritability

Genotype-Environment Correlation

The Nature of Nurture

Three Types of Genotype-Environment Correlation

    Three Methods to Detect Genotype-Environment Correlation


Genotype-Environment Interaction

Animal Models

Adoption Studies

    Twin Studies



CHAPTER 9 Identifying Genes


Expanded Triplet Repeats

Detecting Polymorphisms

    Box 9.1 DNA Markers

Human Behavior

    Linkage: Single-Gene Disorders

    Linkage: Complex Disorders

    Box 9.2 Affected Sib-Pair Linkage Design

Association: Candidate Genes

    Association: Genomewide

    Box 9.3 SNP Microarrays


CHAPTER 10  Pathways between Genes and Behavior

Box 10.1
Levels of Analysis
Gene Expression and the Role of Epigenetics

The Transcriptome: Gene Expression throughout the Genome

    Gene Expression Profiles: RNA Microarrays and Sequence-Based Approaches

        Gene Expression and Genetics

    Gene Expression as a Biological Basis for Environmental Influence

The Proteome: Proteins Coded throughout the Transcriptome

The Brain

        Box 10.2 Endophenotypes

    Learning and Memory



CHAPTER 11 Cognitive Abilities

Animal Research

General Cognitive Ability

Specific Cognitive Abilities

Neurocognitive Measures of Cognitive Abilities

School Achievement

Three Special Genetic Findings about Cognitive Abilities

Heritability Increases During Development

Assortative Mating is Substantial

The same genes affect diverse cognitive and learning abilities

Identifying Genes


CHAPTER 12 Cognitive Disabilities

General Cognitive Disability: Quantitative Genetics

General Cognitive Disability: Single-Gene Disorders


    Fragile X Syndrome

    Rett Syndrome

    Other Single-Gene Disorders

General Cognitive Disability: Chromosomal Abnormalities

    Down Syndrome

   Sex Chromosome Abnormalities

Small Chromosomal Deletions

Specific Cognitive Disabilities

Reading Disability     

        Communication Disorders

    Mathematics Disability

    Comorbidity among Specific Cognitive Disabilities


CHAPTER 13 Schizophrenia

Box 13.1
The Beginnings of Psychiatric Genetics: Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals

Family Studies

Twin Studies

Adoption Studies

Schizophrenia or Schizophrenias?

Identifying Genes


CHAPTER 14 Other Adult Psychopathology

Mood Disorders

    Family Studies

    Twin Studies

        Adoption Studies

SNP-Based Heritability

    Identifying Genes

Anxiety Disorders

Other Disorders

Co-Occurrence of Disorders

Identifying Genes


CHAPTER 15  Developmental Psychopathology


    Family and Twin Studies

    Identifying Genes

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

        Twin Studies

    Identifying Genes

Distruptive Behavior Disorders

Anxiety Disorders

Other Disorders

Overview of Twin Studies of Childhood Disorders

SNP-Based Heritability Findings for Childhood Disorders


CHAPTER 16  Personality and Personality Disorders

Self-Report Questionnaires

Other Measures of Personality

Other Findings



    Nature-Nurture Interplay

Personality and Social Psychology


    Attitudes and Political Behavior

Behavioral Economics

Personality Disorders

    Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder and Criminal Behavior

Identifying Genes


Chapter 17 Substance Use Disorders

Alcohol Dependence

      Twin and Adoption Research on Alcohol-Related Phenotypes

      Animal Research on Alcohol-Related Phenotypes

Molecular Genetic Research on Alcohol-Related Phenotypes

Nicotine Dependence

      Twin Research on Smoking-Related Phenotypes

      Molecular Genetic Research on Smoking-Related Phenotypes

Other Drugs

Complexities of Studying the Genetics of Substance Use


CHAPTER 18  Health Psychology

Health Psychology

        Body Weight and Obesity

Subjective Well-Being and Health

Health Psychology and Genetic Counseling


CHAPTER 19 Aging

Cognitive Aging

General Cognitive Ability

Specific Cognitive Abilities


Genes and Normal Cognitive Aging

Health and Aging

Physiological Functioning

Behavioral and Physical Functioning

Self-Rated Health

Molecular Genetics and Physical Health



CHAPTER 20  The Future of Behavioral Genetics

Quantitative Genetics

Molecular Genetics

Implications of Nature and Nurture

Appendix Statistical Methods in Behavioral Genetics

1. Introduction

Box A.1 Behavioral Genetic Interactive Modules

1.1 Variation and Covariation: Statistical Descriptions of Individual Differences

2. Quantitative Genetics

2.1 The Biometric Model

2.2 Estimating Variance Components

3. Molecular Genetics

3.1 Linkage Analysis

3.2 Association Analysis




Name Index

Subject Index

Supplemental Materials

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