This is a seminar exploring the role of genetic variation in behavioral tendencies in both humans and non-human animals. A discussion-based seminar format will cover topics including selective breeding for behavioral traits in non-human animals, evolutionary theories for natural selection of behavioral traits, research methods in behavior genetics, and ethical concerns within behavior genetics research. We will discuss the history and paradigm shifts in the field behavior genetics and critically evaluate empirical work evidencing the role in genetics in a variety of psychological and behavioral traits such as aggression, political orientation, and mental health.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (NS&B)(PSYC)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Less than 50%
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Possible reading samples:
Duncan LE, Ostacher M, Ballon J. How genome-wide association studies (GWAS) made traditional candidate gene studies obsolete. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019;44(9):1518-1523. doi:10.1038/s41386-019-0389-5
Drew, L. (2016). "Pharmacogenetics: The right drug for you." Nature 537(7619): S60-S62. https://www.nature.com/articles/537S60a#citeas
McSwiggan, S., Elger, B., & Appelbaum, P. S. (2017). The forensic use of behavioral genetics in criminal proceedings: Case of the MAOA-L genotype. International journal of law and psychiatry, 50, 17¿23. https://doi-org.ezproxy.wesleyan.edu/10.1016/j.ijlp.2016.09.005
Hufer, A. (2020). Genetic and environmental variation in political orientation in adolescence and early adulthood: A Nuclear Twin Family analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology., 118(4), 762¿776. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000258
Mullins, N., & Lewis, C. M. (2017). Genetics of Depression: Progress at Last. Current psychiatry reports, 19(8), 43. https://doi-org.ezproxy.wesleyan.edu/10.1007/s11920-017-0803-9
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Reading quizzes: To assess reading before class, students will complete reading quizzes on their own time (due before the start of class).
Writing reflections: There will be regular writing reflections to apply course concepts while forming/exploring questions and opinions about behavior genetics topics and reflecting on in-class discussions.
Article presentation: Students will deliver a brief presentation on a behavior genetics topic.
Final paper: Students will write a literature review on a behavior genetics topic.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
|Instructor(s): Sullivan,Grace Anne Times: .M..... 01:20PM-04:10PM; Location: TBA|
|Total Enrollment Limit: 15||SR major: 9||JR major: 6|| || |
|Seats Available: 15||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 0||JR non-major: 0||SO: 0||FR: X|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 0||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 0|