Behavior Genetics

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

List of Papers (Total 166)

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 ...

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, including ...

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. Significant ...

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 addition, ...

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, power- ...

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 positive ...

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 ...

Special Section in Memoriam: Xiaojia Ge, 1954—2009

Not long before his recent untimely death at age 55 from cancer, Xiaojia Ge, a Professor in the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, edited a special issue of Acta Psychologica Sinica that would introduce behavioral genetics in depth to a Chinese audience of scientist-scholars. He commissioned nine articles from his colleagues in the U.S.A., U.K., Sweden, ...

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 ...

Matched Ascertainment of Informative Families for Complex Genetic Modelling

Family data are used extensively in quantitative genetic studies to disentangle the genetic and environmental contributions to various diseases. Many family studies based their analysis on population-based registers containing a large number of individuals composed of small family units. For binary trait analyses, exact marginal likelihood is a common approach, but, due to the ...

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 ...

Response to comment by Stuart Macgregor

We are grateful to Stuart Macgregor for his comment on our paper. We agree with his caveats about our work, which are mostly related to the selection criteria that we used to select SNPs from the first stage (DNA pooling) of our study. We should have used his method (Macgregor et al. 2006) for correcting mean allele frequency differences between high and low pools, perhaps in ...

Genetic Mapping of Social Interaction Behavior in B6/MSM Consomic Mouse Strains

Genetic studies are indispensable for understanding the mechanisms by which individuals develop differences in social behavior. We report genetic mapping of social interaction behavior using inter-subspecific consomic strains established from MSM/Ms (MSM) and C57BL/6J (B6) mice. Two animals of the same strain and sex, aged 10 weeks, were introduced into a novel open-field for 10 ...

Breastfeeding, Maternal Education and Cognitive Function: A Prospective Study in Twins

The effect of breastfeeding on cognitive abilities is examined in the offspring of highly educated women and compared to the effects in women with low or middle educational attainment. All offspring consisted of 12-year old mono- or dizygotic twins and this made it possible to study the effect of breastfeeding on mean cognition scores as well as the moderating effects of ...

Born to be Happy? The Etiology of Subjective Well-Being

Subjective Wellbeing (SWB) can be assessed with distinct measures that have been hypothesized to represent different domains of SWB. The current study assessed SWB with four different measures in a genetically informative sample of adolescent twins and their siblings aged 13–28 years (N = 5,024 subjects from 2,157 families). Multivariate genetic modeling was applied to the data to ...

The Heritability of Aptitude and Exceptional Talent Across Different Domains in Adolescents and Young Adults

The origin of individual differences in aptitude, defined as a domain-specific skill within the normal ability range, and talent, defined as a domain specific skill of exceptional quality, is under debate. The nature of the variation in aptitudes and exceptional talents across different domains was investigated in a population based twin sample. Self-report data from 1,685 twin ...

Genetic Covariance Structure of Reading, Intelligence and Memory in Children

This study investigates the genetic relationship among reading performance, IQ, verbal and visuospatial working memory (WM) and short-term memory (STM) in a sample of 112, 9-year-old twin pairs and their older siblings. The relationship between reading performance and the other traits was explained by a common genetic factor for reading performance, IQ, WM and STM and a genetic ...

Similarities in Drinking Behavior of Twin’s Friends: Moderation of Heritability of Alcohol Use

Previous research has indicated that friends’ drinking may influence alcohol use in adolescents and young adults. We explored whether similarities in the drinking behavior of friends of twins influence the genetic architecture of alcohol use in adolescence and young adulthood. Survey data from The Netherlands Twin Register were available for 1,526 twin pairs aged 16–25 years. We ...