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Lecture 2

CHYS 1F90 Lecture 2: L2- Genetics & Prenatal Development

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Brock University
Child and Youth Studies
Dawn Zinga

How can genetics and brain development help us understand children and youth? September 16, 2016 What makes us who we are? Human genome- Genetic Predisposition It is an increased likelihood of developing a particular disease based on a person’s genetic makeup; what we carry Phenotype The outward physical manifestation of our genotype, which is the internally coded inheritable information; what we express You are carrying things that some times cannot see all the genetic makeup of a person; example I may have brown eyes but a close family member has blue eyes therefore I carry the blue eye gene Genetics Each chromosomes contains genes Sections of chromosomes Made up of DNA The chemical code for development Direct production of amino acids necessary for forming new cells Guides cells to develop different parts of the body How one combines those building blocks; the genome tells the DNA how to construct the species Behavioral Genetics Heritability Amount of variability in a trait that is attributed to hereditary influence Methods to determine heritability Selective breeding experiments (animals) Tryon’s ‘maze bright’ and ‘maze dull’ rats Family studies Compare members of family who live together Genotype(inherited genes)- is expressed through- Phenotype (observable characteristics & behaviours) The more similar they look the more they want to differentiate when raised together Because of not having the other twin to react to…therefore they have the opportunity to follow their genetics a bit closer because there is no reason to resist it while when living with your twin one wants to be viewed different from the other. They therefore push away genetics or maybe not follow it as closely The circumstance for them being available for the adoption Age the child was placed So many variables come into play therefore makes it more complicated to see if adopted children are more similar to their biological parents or adopted parents Passive Occurs when biological parents raise child Decrease in influence overtime Inseparable effects of genetics and environment Promotes similarities in siblings Example- reading, music Depends on the exposure that one has been in; if one was raised together you shared the same environment Evocative Affect behaviour of others in environment Child’s genotype elicits responses from others Presumable remains constant ‘Unshared’ environment- increases differences among siblings Example- irritable vs. well-tempered One evokes responses with others; what you evoke from the environment; how you react to the environment Active Actively select comfortable environments Different genotypes attracted to environments Results in different experiences Also referred to as Niche-Picking Increases in influence over time Children in the same home may become increasingly different Example- identical twins reared apart may become increasingly similar because they do not pick the same niches Prenatal Development Going back to the beginning – conception Mitosis Two sets of chromosomes- creates one cell- duplicated- replicates Germinal Period, aka the period of the zygote From conception to implantation in uterine wall Period of the Embryos From week 3 to week8 Period of the Fetus From week 9 to birth Environmental factors that affect prenatal development Teratogens Agents such as viruses, drugs, chemicals, radiation that can harm developing fetus Maternal Characteristics Nutrition, emotional well-being, age Each developing structure has a sensitive period A time when it is particularly susceptible to damage teratogens Recall rapid development during embryonic period Once fully formed, parts are less susceptible to damage Development of the Brain Neurons are basic units of the brain Transmit information via synapses Synaptogenesis proceeds rapidly Establish
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