Genetics_Part_I_.pdf - Genetics Part I Introduction Behind the story of our human brain-surely the most awesome thing on Earth-is the essence of our

Genetics_Part_I_.pdf - Genetics Part I Introduction Behind...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 8 pages.

Genetics Part I Introduction Behind the story of our human brain-surely the most awesome thing on Earth-is the essence of our universal human attributes and our individual traits. What makes you you? In important ways, we are each unique. We look different. We sound different. We have varying personalities, interests, and cultural and family backgrounds. We are also the leaves of one tree. Our human family shares not only a common biological heritage- cut us and we bleed-but also common behavioral tendencies. Our shared brain architecture predisposes us to sense the world, develop language, and feel hunger through identical mechanisms. Whether we live in the Arctic or the tropics, we prefer sweet tastes to sour. We divide the color spectrum into similar colors. And we feel drawn to behaviors that produce and protect offspring. Our kinship appears in our social behaviors as well. Whether named Wong, Nkomo, Smith, or Gonzales, we start fearing strangers at about eight months, and as teenagers and adults we prefer the company of those with attitudes and attributes similar to our own. Coming from different parts of the globe, we know how to read one another’s smiles and frowns. As members of one species, we affiliate, conform, return favors, punish offenses, organize hierarchies of status, and grieve a child’s death. A visitor from outer space could drop in anywhere and find humans dancing and feasting, singing and worshiping, playing sports and games, laughing and crying, living in families and forming groups. Taken together, such universal behaviors define our human nature. What causes our striking diversity, and also our shared human nature? How much are human differences shaped by our differing genes? And how much by our environment —by every external influence, from maternal nutrition while in the womb to social support while nearing the tomb? This unit begins to tell the complex story of how our genes (nature) and environments (nurture) define us. The nurture of nature Parents everywhere wonder: Will my baby grow up to be peaceful or aggressive? Homely or attractive? Successful or struggling at every step? What comes built in, and what is nurtured—and how? Research reveals that nature and nurture together shape our development—every step of the way. Courtesy Brendan Baruth
Image of page 1

Subscribe to view the full document.

Genetics Part I 3C.1 Behavior Genetics: Predicting Individual Differences » 1: What are genes, and how do behavior geneticists explain our individual differences? “Thanks for almost everything, Dad” © The New Yorker Collection, 1999, Danny Shanahan from All rights reserved. IF JADEN AGASSI, SON OF TENNIS STARS Andre Agassi and Stephanie Graf, grows up to be a tennis star, should we attribute his superior talent to his Grand Slam genes? To his growing up in a tennis- rich environment? To high expectations? Such questions intrigue behavior geneticists , who study our differences and weigh the effects and interplay of heredity and environment .
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
  • Fall '16

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask ( soon) You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes