Genes and human behavior

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Genes and human behavior

  1. 1. • Genes and Human Behavior• Journal article by Richard J. Rose; Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 46, 1995 Genes and human behavior. by Richard J. Rose KEY WORDS: behavior genetics, cognitive abilities, personality, health habits, psychopathology CONTENTS INTRODUCTION COGNITIVE ABILITY AND DISABILITY Cognitive Abilities: General and Specific Reading Disability Fragile-X Syndrome and Triplet Repeats PERSONALITY, LIFESTYLES, AND HEALTH HABITS Personality Sexual Orientation Health Habits: Smoking and Drinking PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS Huntingtons Disease Traditional Twin Methods in Psychiatric Genetics Alcoholism Alzheimers Disease Schizophrenias and Affective Disorders Aggression NEW IDEAS AND ENDURING ISSUES Twin Comparisons: New Twists Enduring Issues CONCLUSIONS INTRODUCTION This volume of the Annual Review of Psychology marks anniversaries of both old and new approaches to human behavioral genetics. This review of genes and human behavior appears 35 years after the field of behavior genetics was christened with a monograph bearing that name (Fuller & Thompson 1960), and 25 years after the Behavior Genetics Association was founded and its journal, Behavior Genetics, launched. This volume appears 15 years after recognition of the utility of using DNA markers for gene-mapping, which initiated the use of restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) for genetic linkage studies. And 1995 is the fifth year of the United States Human Genome Project, a project to map the human DNA sequence, one so successful that three years into it, a new, more ambitious five-year plan was launched (Collins & Galas 1993). There are exciting developments in both old (quantitative) and new (molecular) approaches to human behavioral genetics; this review attempts to highlight the excitement, promise, and controversy surrounding contemporary human behavior genetics. Cover-story reports of behavior genetics (Science 1994) testify to the fields vitality and visibility, but controversy follows. The most influential popular periodical in US science headlined "The dubious link between genes and behavior," subtitling its "lack- of-progress report" in behavior genetics as "Eugenics Revisited" (Horgan 1993). Others charge that the "allure of genetic explanations" (Alper & Natowicz 1992) for complex social behavior leads to poor science and pernicious social policy, and that problems endemic to the old genetic analyses will reoccur in the new (Billings et al

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