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Chapter 3

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Rutgers University
Margaret Ingate

Chapter 3: Biology and Behavior Nature and Nurture - These two factors- heredity and environment- work in concert to influence both the ways in which you are like other people and the ways in which you are unique - Genome: the complete set of genes of any organism Genetic Environmental Forces - Genotype: the genetic material an individual inherits - Phenotype: the observable expression of the genotype, including both body characteristics and behavior - Environment: every aspect of an individual and his or her surroundings other than genes Four relations which are fundamental in the development of every child 1. The parent’s genetic contribution to the child’s genotype 2. The contribution of the child’s genotype to his or her own phenotype 3. The contribution of the child’s environment to his or her phenotype 4. The influence of the child’s phenotype on his or her environment 1. Parent’s Genotype- Child’s Genotype - Chromosomes: molecules of DNA that transmit genetic information; chromosomes are made up of DNA - DNA: molecules that carry all the biochemical instructions involved in the formation and functioning of an organism - Genes: sections of chromosomes that are the basic unit of heredity in all living things - Each gene is a segment of DNA that is the code for the productions of particular proteins Some proteins are the building blocks of the body’s cells; others regulate the cells’ functioning Human Heredity - Human normally have a total of 46 chromosomes in the nucleus of every cell, except egg and sperm cells - These 46 chromosomes are actually 23 pairs - Sex chromosomes: the chromosomes (X and Y) that determine an individual’s gender - Males (XY) Females (XX) Diversity and Individuality - Mutation: a change in a section of DNA - Random assortment of chromosomes in the formation of egg and sperm: during germ-cell division, the 23 pairs of chromosomes are shuffled randomly, with chance determining which member of each pair goes into each new egg or sperm. - Crossing over: the process by which sections of DNA switch from one chromosome to the other; crossing over promotes variability among individuals 2. Child’s Genotype- Child’s Phenotype Gene Expression: Developmental changes - Regulator genes: genes that control the activity of the other genes - External factors can affect the switching on and off of genes Gene expression: Dominance patterns - Alleles: two or more different forms of a gene (eye color) - Dominant allele: the allele that, if present, gets expressed - Recessive allele: the allele that is not expressed if a dominant allele is present - Homozygous: having two of the same allele for a trait - Heterozygous: having two different alleles for a trait - Polygenic inheritance: inheritance in which traits are governed by more than one gene 3. Child’s Environment- Child’s Phenotype - The impact of the environment on the child’s phenotype - Norm of reaction: all the phenotypes that can theoretically result from a given genotype in relation to all the environments in which it can survive and develop Examples of genotype- environmental interaction - Phenylketonuria (PKU): a disorder related to a defective recessive gene on chromosome 12 that prevents metabolism oh phenylalanine (can result to severe mental retardation) - A second example of genotype-environment interaction comes from research showing an effect of abusive parenting on children with a particular genotype Parental contributions to the child’s environment - The parent’s relationship with the child is very important 4. Child’s Phenotype-Child’s Environment - Active child theme: the child as a source of his or her own development - First, by virtue of their nature and behavior, they actively evoke certain kinds of responses from others. - The second way in which children create their own environment is by actively selecting surroundings and experiences that match their interests, talents, and personality characteristics Behavior Genetics - Behavior genetics: the science concerned with how variation in behavior and development results from the combination of genetic and environmental factors. - Heritable: refers to any characteristics or traits that are influenced by heredity - Multifactorial: refers to any characteristics or traits that are influenced by heredity Behavior Genetic Research Designs - The mainstay of modern behavior-genetics research is the family study - There are several specialized family-study designs that are particularly helpful in assessing genetic and environmental influences 1. Twin-study design which compares the correlations for identical twins (100% genes are the same monozygotic) with those for the same-sex fraternal twins (50% genes are the same dizygotic) 2. Adoption study: researchers examine whether adopted children’s scores on a given measure are correlated more highly with those of their biological parents and siblings or with those of their adoptive parents and siblings 3. Adoptive twin study: compares identical twins who grew up together versus identical twins who were separated shortly after birth and raised apart Family
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