Behavior Genetics

http://link.springer.com/journal/10519

List of Papers (Total 178)

From Molecules to Behavior: Lessons from the Study of Rare Genetic Disorders

Rare diseases are defined as conditions with a prevalence of less than 1/2,000. To date between 6,000 and 7,000 rare diseases have been identified and many of those have manifestations that include intellectual disability, developmental disorders or other behavioural phenotypes. In this special issue we bring together a range of papers where rare diseases were used as models to...

Does Cognitive Impairment Explain Behavioral and Social Problems of Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1?

Thirty NF1-patients (mean age 11.7 years, SD = 3.3) and 30 healthy controls (mean age 12.5 years, SD = 3.1) were assessed on social skills, autistic traits, hyperactivity-inattention, emotional problems, conduct problems, and peer problems. Cognitive control, information processing speed, and social information processing were measured using 5 computer tasks. GLM analyses of...

Using Non-Normal SEM to Resolve the ACDE Model in the Classical Twin Design

One of the biggest problems in classical twin studies is that it cannot estimate additive genetic (A), non-additive genetic (D), shared environmental (C), and non-shared environmental (E) effects, simultaneously, because the model, referred to as the ACDE model, has negative degrees of freedom when using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Therefore, instead of the ACDE model...

On the sources of the height–intelligence correlation: New insights from a bivariate ACE model with assortative mating

A robust positive correlation between height and intelligence, as measured by IQ tests, has been established in the literature. This paper makes several contributions toward establishing the causes of this association. First, we extend the standard bivariate ACE model to account for assortative mating. The more general theoretical framework provides several key insights...

No Associations Between Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Corticoid Receptor Genes and Heart Rate and Cortisol Responses to a Standardized Social Stress Test in Adolescents: The TRAILS Study

Previously, sequence variation in the glucocorticoid (GR) and mineralocorticoid (MR) receptor genes (NR3C1 and NR3C2, respectively) have been found to be associated with physiological stress responses to social stress tests in small samples of adult men and oral contraceptives (OC) using women. Associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the GR (23EK-rs6190...

Influence of Candidate Genes on Attention Problems in Children: A Longitudinal Study

Attention problems form one of the core characteristics of Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), a multifactorial neurodevelopmental disorder. From twin research it is clear that genes play a considerable role in the etiology and in the stability of ADHD in childhood. Association studies have focused on genes involved in the dopaminergic and serotoninergic systems, but...

Investigation of Dyslexia and SLI Risk Variants in Reading- and Language-Impaired Subjects

Dyslexia (or reading disability) and specific language impairment (or SLI) are common childhood disorders that show considerable co-morbidity and diagnostic overlaps and have been suggested to share some genetic aetiology. Recently, genetic risk variants have been identified for SLI and dyslexia enabling the direct evaluation of possible shared genetic influences between these...

Gene-Environment Interaction in the Etiology of Mathematical Ability Using SNP Sets

Mathematics ability and disability is as heritable as other cognitive abilities and disabilities, however its genetic etiology has received relatively little attention. In our recent genome-wide association study of mathematical ability in 10-year-old children, 10 SNP associations were nominated from scans of pooled DNA and validated in an individually genotyped sample. In this...

A Three-Stage Genome-Wide Association Study of General Cognitive Ability: Hunting the Small Effects

Childhood general cognitive ability (g) is important for a wide range of outcomes in later life, from school achievement to occupational success and life expectancy. Large-scale association studies will be essential in the quest to identify variants that make up the substantial genetic component implicated by quantitative genetic studies. We conducted a three-stage genome-wide...

Dementia in Swedish Twins: Predicting Incident Cases

Thirty same-sex twin pairs were identified in which both members were assessed at baseline and one twin subsequently developed dementia, at least 3 years subsequent to the baseline measurement, while the partner remained cognitively intact for at least three additional years. Eighteen of the 30 cases were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Baseline assessments, conducted when...

Gerald E. McClearn: Complexity in Behavior Genetics

A festskrift in honor of the career contributions of Gerald E. McClearn was held in State College, Pennsylvania in May 2009. A selection of papers presented at that celebration is included in this issue of Behavior Genetics. These papers illustrate contemporary progress in research areas that have been chosen to reflect key aspects of Jerry’s career accomplishments.

PER2 Variation is Associated with Diurnal Preference in a Korean Young Population

The PER2 gene has been reported to influence diurnal preference. In this study, we have attempted to characterize the associations between the PER2 gene polymorphisms and diurnal preference in a population of healthy young subjects, controlling for the social and environmental confounding factors. Subjects were 299 students in a college, carefully selected to be mentally and...

Overlaps Between Autism and Language Impairment: Phenomimicry or Shared Etiology?

Traditionally, autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and specific language impairment (SLI) are regarded as distinct conditions with separate etiologies. Yet these disorders co-occur at above chance levels, suggesting shared etiology. Simulations, however, show that additive pleiotropic genes cannot account for observed rates of language impairment in relatives, which are higher for...

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Cortisol Regulation Across Days and Contexts in Middle-Aged Men

Cortisol is an indicator of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis responsivity to stress, but few twin studies have examined the heritability of cortisol concentrations in adults across the diurnal cycle and in different contexts. Saliva samples were provided by 783 middle-aged male twins on one laboratory and two home days as part of the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging...

Familial Resemblance for Loneliness

Social isolation and loneliness in humans have been associated with physical and psychological morbidity, as well as mortality. This study aimed to assess the etiology of individual differences in feelings of loneliness. The genetic architecture of loneliness was explored in an extended twin-family design including 8,683 twins, siblings and parents from 3,911 families. In...

Symptom Dimensions in OCD: Item-Level Factor Analysis and Heritability Estimates

To reduce the phenotypic heterogeneity of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) for genetic, clinical and translational studies, numerous factor analyses of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale checklist (YBOCS-CL) have been conducted. Results of these analyses have been inconsistent, likely as a consequence of small sample sizes and variable methodologies. Furthermore, data...

Behavioral Traits are Affected by Selective Breeding for Increased Wheel-Running Behavior in Mice

Voluntary physical activity may be related to personality traits. Here, we investigated these relations in two mouse lines selectively bred for high voluntary wheel-running behavior and in one non-selected control line. Selection lines were more explorative and “information gathering” in the open-field test, either with increased upright positions or horizontal locomotion toward...

“Forward Genetics” as a Method to Maximize Power and Cost-Efficiency in Studies of Human Complex Traits

There is increasing interest in methods to disentangle the relationship between genotype and (endo)phenotypes in human complex traits. We present a population-based method of increasing the power and cost-efficiency of studies by selecting random individuals with a particular genotype and then assessing the accompanying quantitative phenotypes. Using statistical derivations...

Individual Differences in Processing Speed and Working Memory Speed as Assessed with the Sternberg Memory Scanning Task

The Sternberg Memory Scanning (SMS) task provides a measure of processing speed (PS) and working memory retrieval speed (WMS). In this task, participants are presented with sets of stimuli that vary in size. After a delay, one item is presented, and participants indicate whether or not the item was part of the set. Performance is assessed by speed and accuracy for both the...

Introduction to the Special Issue, Pathways Between Genes, Brain, and Behavior

In the past 10 years or so, with the sequencing of the human genome and rapid advances in the development of high throughput techniques, the field of behavior genetics has increasingly moved toward the detection of actual genes and environmental factors. However, the field is still in the relatively early stages of understanding some of the basic facts about the complex genetic...

Endophenotypes in a Dynamically Connected Brain

We examined the longitudinal genetic architecture of three parameters of functional brain connectivity. One parameter described overall connectivity (synchronization likelihood, SL). The two others were derived from graph theory and described local (clustering coefficient, CC) and global (average path length, L) aspects of connectivity. We measured resting state EEG in 1,438...

A Genome-Wide Association Study of Social and Non-Social Autistic-Like Traits in the General Population Using Pooled DNA, 500 K SNP Microarrays and Both Community and Diagnosed Autism Replication Samples

Two separate genome-wide association studies were conducted to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with social and nonsocial autistic-like traits. We predicted that we would find SNPs associated with social and non-social autistic-like traits and that different SNPs would be associated with social and nonsocial. In Stage 1, each study screened for allele...