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Behavior Genetics

Jessica L Bourdon, Ashlee A Moore, Meridith Eastman, Jeanne E Savage, Laura Hazlett, Scott R Vrana, John M Hettema, Roxann Roberson-Nay
Reduced heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with cardiac morbidity, mortality, and negative psychopathology. Most research concerning genetic influences on HRV has focused on adult populations, with fewer studies investigating the developmental period of adolescence and emerging adulthood. The current study estimated the genetic and environmental contributions to resting HRV in a sample of twins using various HRV time domain metrics to assess autonomic function across two different time measurement intervals (2...
July 11, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Tom A McAdams, Laurie J Hannigan, Espen Moen Eilertsen, Line C Gjerde, Eivind Ystrom, Fruhling V Rijsdijk
Datasets comprising twins and their children can be a useful tool for understanding the nature of intergenerational associations between parent and offspring phenotypes. In the present article we explore structural equation models previously used to analyse Children-of-Twins data, highlighting some limitations and considerations. We then present new variants of these models, showing that extending the models to include multiple offspring per parent addresses several of the limitations discussed. Accompanying the updated models, we provide power calculations and demonstrate with application to simulated data...
June 30, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Michelle Luciano, Alan J Gow, Alison Pattie, Timothy C Bates, Ian J Deary
A number of candidate genes for reading and language impairment have been replicated, primarily in samples of children with developmental disability or delay, although these genes are also supported in adolescent population samples. The present study used a systematic approach to test 14 of these candidate genes for association with reading assessed in late adulthood (two cohorts with mean ages of 70 and 79 years). Gene-sets (14 candidates, axon-guidance and neuron migration pathways) and individual SNPs within each gene of interest were tested for association using imputed data referenced to the 1000 genomes European panel...
June 29, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Irene Camerlink, Winanda W Ursinus, Andrea C Bartels, Piter Bijma, J Elizabeth Bolhuis
Selection for indirect genetic effects (IGE), i.e. the genetic effect of an individual on a trait of another individual, is a promising avenue to increase trait values in plant and animal breeding. Studies in livestock suggest that selection for IGE for growth (IGEg) might increase animals' capacity to tolerate stress. We assessed the effect of a stressful phase (weaning) on the behaviour and performance of pigs (n = 480) divergently selected for high or low IGEg. High IGEg pigs were significantly slower to explore the feed and gained less weight than low IGEg pigs in the days after weaning...
June 19, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Kate E Lynch, James S Morandini, Ilan Dar-Nimrod, Paul E Griffiths
When explaining the causes of human behavior, genes are often given a special status. They are thought to relate to an intrinsic human 'essence', and essentialist biases have been shown to skew the way in which causation is assessed. Causal reasoning in general is subject to other pre-existing biases, including beliefs about normativity and morality. In this synthesis we show how factors which influence causal reasoning can be mapped to a framework of genetic essentialism, which reveals both the shared and unique factors underpinning biases in causal reasoning and genetic essentialism...
June 19, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Daniel E Gustavson, Matthew S Panizzon, Jeremy A Elman, Carol E Franz, Asad Beck, Chandra A Reynolds, Kristen C Jacobson, Hong Xian, Rosemary Toomey, Michael J Lyons, William S Kremen
Mounting evidence suggests that measures of phonemic fluency and semantic fluency are differentially associated with other cognitive and health phenotypes, but few studies have examined their shared and unique variance, especially using genetically-informative designs. In this study, 1464 middle-aged twins completed six fluency subtests at up to two time-points (mean age 56 and 62 years). Confirmatory factor analyses supported a two-factor solution: a General Fluency latent factor explained variation in all six subtests and a Semantic-Specific factor accounted for additional variance in semantic subtests...
June 19, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Paul J Moberg, Mara J Richman, David R Roalf, Chelsea L Morse, Anna C Graefe, Laura Brennan, Kayci Vickers, Wangchen Tsering, Vidyulata Kamath, Bruce I Turetsky, Ruben C Gur, Raquel E Gur
The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) is a known risk factor for development of schizophrenia and is characterized by a complex neuropsychological profile. To date, a quantitative meta-analysis examining cognitive functioning in 22q11.2DS has not been conducted. A systematic review of cross-sectional studies comparing neuropsychological performance of individuals with 22q11.2DS with age-matched healthy typically developing and sibling comparison subjects was carried out. Potential moderators were analyzed...
June 19, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Matthew Vess, Rebecca J Brooker, Matt Stichter, Jenae M Neiderhiser
In this paper, we provide an overview of our ongoing project in the Genetics and Human Agency Initiative sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation. Our project focuses on the ways that lay beliefs about the heritability of virtue influence reasoning about the nature of virtue, parenting behaviors, and the development of virtue in children. First, we provide philosophical perspectives on the nature of virtue and suggest that viewing virtue as a malleable skill may have important advantages. Next, we review theory and research that highlights the ways that lay heritability beliefs potentially undermine conceptualizations of virtue as a malleable skill...
June 19, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Carol A Van Hulle, Irwin Waldman, Benjamin B Lahey
Decades of research into the etiology of conduct disorder (CD) has yet to yield a consensus on the existence of sex differences in underlying genetic and environmental influences. This may be partly due to the failure of many previous studies to make a distinction between non-aggressive and aggressive CD symptoms or test for potential developmental changes in sex differences in the etiology of conduct problems. To address these gaps, we fit a series of univariate and bivariate biometric sex-difference models to self-reported non-aggressive and aggressive CD symptoms in a community-based sample of twins (N = 1548, ages 9-17 year), grouped into ages 9-13 and 14-17 years...
June 11, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Marina Viñas-Jornet, Susanna Esteba-Castillo, Neus Baena, Núria Ribas-Vidal, Anna Ruiz, David Torrents-Rodas, Elisabeth Gabau, Elisabet Vilella, Lourdes Martorell, Lluís Armengol, Ramon Novell, Míriam Guitart
A genetic analysis of unexplained mild-moderate intellectual disability and co-morbid psychiatric or behavioural disorders is not systematically conducted in adults. A cohort of 100 adult patients affected by both phenotypes were analysed in order to identify the presence of copy number variants (CNVs) responsible for their condition identifying a yield of 12.8% of pathogenic CNVs (19% when including clinically recognizable microdeletion syndromes). Moreover, there is a detailed clinical description of an additional 11% of the patients harbouring possible pathogenic CNVs-including a 7q31 deletion (IMMP2L) in two unrelated patients and duplications in 3q29, 9p24...
June 7, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Camelia C Minică, Conor V Dolan, Dorret I Boomsma, Eco de Geus, Michael C Neale
Although experimental studies are regarded as the method of choice for determining causal influences, these are not always practical or ethical to answer vital questions in health and social research (e.g., one cannot assign individuals to a "childhood trauma condition" in studying the causal effects of childhood trauma on depression). Key to solving such questions are observational studies. Mendelian Randomization (MR) is an influential method to establish causality in observational studies. MR uses genetic variants to test causal relationships between exposures/risk factors and outcomes such as physical or mental health...
June 7, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Kerri E Woodward, Debra L Boeldt, Robin P Corley, Lisabeth DiLalla, Naomi P Friedman, John K Hewitt, Paula Y Mullineaux, JoAnn Robinson, Soo Hyun Rhee
The present study examined the influence of maternal and child characteristics on parenting behaviors in a genetically informative study. The participants were 976 twins and their mothers from the Colorado Longitudinal Twin Study and the Twin Infant Project. Indicators of positive parenting were coded during parent-child interactions when twins were 7-36 months old. Child cognitive abilities and affection were independent correlates of positive parenting. There were significant gender differences in the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences on positive parenting, with shared environmental influences on parenting of girls and additive genetic influences on parenting of boys...
June 6, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Yangyang Liu, Nathan A Gillespie, Lin Ye, Gu Zhu, David L Duffy, Nicholas G Martin
The extent to which correlations between personality domains and physical and psychological health generalize cross-culturally is unclear. We compared the strength of associations between the personality domains and somatic and psychological distress in Chinese (N = 2069) and a genetically informative sample of Australian (N = 2936) adolescents. We also examined the genetic and environmental etiology between personality, somatic and psychological distress in an Australian sample of 390 monozygotic twins and 698 dizygotic twins...
June 5, 2018: Behavior Genetics
Andrew M Scott, Ian Dworkin, Reuven Dukas
Sociability, defined as individuals' propensity to participate in non-aggressive activities with conspecifics, is a fundamental feature of behavior in many animals including humans. However, we still have a limited knowledge of the mechanisms and evolutionary biology of sociability. To enhance our understanding, we developed a new protocol to quantify sociability in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). In a series of experiments with 59 F1 hybrids derived from inbred lines, we documented, first, significant genetic variation in sociability in both males and females, with broad-sense heritabilities of 0...
May 2018: Behavior Genetics
Julia Kutschke, May-Bente Bengtson, Teresa E Seeman, Jennifer R Harris
Social relationships play a critical role in health and well-being throughout life. We analyzed the genetic and environmental variance co-variance structure for social support and strain across four sets of relationships including with one's co-twin, spouse/partner, family and friends. The sample included 5288 Norwegian twins aged 40-80. Older people reported less support from their co-twin and friends and less strain from their family and friends. Genetic influences contribute importantly to variation across all the measures, with estimates ranging from 0 to 58%; variance due to shared environmental influences was most important for the twin-relationship, ranging from 0...
May 2018: Behavior Genetics
Izabela Bialuk, Maria Małgorzata Winnicka
The significance of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in long-term reference memory was tested in the Morris water maze (MWM) in 4-month-old C57BL/6J IL-6-deficient (IL-6 KO) and control mice. Three-day learning measured by escape latency time to find the hidden platform was comparable in both genotypes. In a single probe trial performed 7 days later, without the platform, latency to the platform site and path length to the target place were significantly shorter (p < 0.05 and p < 0.02, respectively), and platform-site crossovers more frequent (p < 0...
May 2018: Behavior Genetics
T Lee, A Thalamuthu, J D Henry, J N Trollor, D Ames, M J Wright, P S Sachdev
We used a sub-sample from the Older Australian Twins Study to estimate the heritability of performance on three tests of language ability: Boston Naming Test (BNT), Letter/Phonemic Fluency (FAS) and Category/Semantic Fluency (CFT) Tests. After adjusting for age, sex, education, mood, and global cognition (GC), heritability estimates obtained for the three tests were 0.35, 0.59, and 0.20, respectively. Multivariate analyses showed that the genetic correlation were high for BNT and CFT (0.61), but low for BNT and FAS (0...
May 2018: Behavior Genetics
Christopher R Beam, Katherine Marcus, Eric Turkheimer, Robert E Emery
Marriages consist of shared experiences and interactions between husbands and wives that may lead to different impressions of the quality of the relationship. Few studies, unfortunately, have tested gender differences in the structure of marital quality, and even fewer studies have evaluated whether genetic and environmental influences on marital quality differ across gender. In this study, we evaluated gender differences in the structure of marital quality using independent samples of married male (n = 2406) and married female (n = 2215) participants from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States who provided ratings on twenty-eight marital quality items encompassing six marital quality constructs...
May 2018: Behavior Genetics
David Curtis, Leda Coelewij, Shou-Hwa Liu, Jack Humphrey, Richard Mott
A previous study of exome-sequenced schizophrenia cases and controls reported an excess of singleton, gene-disruptive variants among cases, concentrated in particular gene sets. The dataset included a number of subjects with a substantial Finnish contribution to ancestry. We have reanalysed the same dataset after removal of these subjects and we have also included non-singleton variants of all types using a weighted burden test which assigns higher weights to variants predicted to have a greater effect on protein function...
May 2018: Behavior Genetics
Chelsea R Kasten, Yanping Zhang, Ken Mackie, Stephen L Boehm
Cannabis use is linked to positive and negative outcomes. Identifying genetic targets of susceptibility to the negative effects of cannabinoid use is of growing importance. The current study sought to complete short-term selective breeding for adolescent sensitivity and resistance to the locomotor effects of a single 10 mg/kg THC dose in the open field. Selection for THC-locomotor sensitivity was moderately heritable, with the greatest estimates of heritability seen in females from the F2 to S3 generations...
May 2018: Behavior Genetics
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