Genetics and the Development of Behavior

  • Peter McGuffin
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 161)


Behavioral phenotypes pose considerable problems for genetic analysis. They consist either of continuous measures, such as I.Q., or of dichotomous (present/absent) characters which generally do not follow simple Mendelian segregation patterns. It is frequently difficult to distinguish whether familial resemblance is the result of genes or of common family environment but twin and adoption strategies can be powerful in this respect, if correctly used. Biometric analyses can provide useful quantification of the relative size of genetic and environmental components but are best seen as providing a starting point for more direct assessment of gene-environmental co-action. Major gene effects remain difficult to detect unequivocally but the “new genetics” of recombinant DNA holds promise for advancing our knowledge, particularly of the inheritance of abnormal traits.


Monozygotic Twin Childhood Autism Common Environment Childhood Psychiatric Disorder Major Gene Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter McGuffin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological MedicineUniversity of Wales College of MedicineCardiffUK

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