With a generous grant from the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications program at the National Human Genome Research Institute, The Hastings Center and the American Association for the Advancement of Science undertook a three-year project called "Crafting Tools for Public Conversation about Behavioral Genetics
The first meeting focused on setting the stage, both with respect to science and society, for crafting the public tools, which will include a behavioral genetics
In light of such complexity, it should be clear that even if there were a correlation between, say, a single-gene defect and a predisposition to impulsivity, no amount of behavioral genetics
could predict whether such a predisposition will gain expression in a bar room--or a board room--fight.
125) Research in the field of behavioral genetics
has revealed that individuals with low MAOA activity most often exhibited violent antisocial behavior if they were abused or mistreated as children.
This research shows that people exposed to trauma in childhood don't only suffer psychologically, but their brain also gets altered," explains Sandi, Head of EPFL's Laboratory of Behavioral Genetics
, Director of the Brain Mind Institute, and a member of the National Centers for Competence in Research SYNAPSY.
Recent Hastings Center projects on behavioral genetics
and on genetics and the future of sport have reinforced these two themes: simple stories that try to link genes to complex, socially significant behaviors or traits such as violence, intelligence, or athletic aptitude will be told but should be regarded with suspicion, especially when they conveniently serve particular social, political, or economic interests.
The editors have synthesized the outcomes of research from different professional fields, such as psychology, cognitive neuroscience, behavioral genetics
, and special education.
One of these, the HS/Ibg, which was formed by crossing eight inbred laboratory mouse strains, (9) is available through the Institute for Behavioral Genetics
Other topics include measuring human life stress, cost-effective early childhood development programs, neuropsychological rehabilitation, pediatric bipolar disorder, the behavioral genetics
of personality disorder, binge eating disorder, and psychosocial factors affecting coronary heart disease.
Data from behavioral genetics
research show that the genetic factors that can affect adolescent alcohol use appear to have greater impact during the transition from middle to late adolescence.
In addition, evidence from behavioral genetics
studies suggests that PTSD, like other anxiety and mood disorders, arises from a combination of non-disorder-specific genetic and environmental factors, he noted.
Over forty contributors from diverse disciplines such as cognitive psychology, theology, psychiatry, neurology, anthropology, radiology, philosophy, experimental psychology, social psychology, clinical psychology, religious studies, behavioral genetics
, sociology, and pharmacology make for wide-ranging and informative reading.