Animal Behavi20 - Behavioral genetics are more complicated...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Animal Behavior: Instinct Behavioral Genetics Ernst Mayr, a leading figure in twentieth century evolutionary thought, saw behavior as a continuum ranging from completely closed, or fixed by the genotype, to completely open, extremely flexible and dependent on the environment. Behavioral genetics has become an increasingly important field as modern technology has allowed researchers to locate specific genes and alleles responsible for some behaviors. The field has also stirred controversy: people are hesitant to attribute behavior to genetics in the age- old nature versus nurture debate. But nature versus nurture is a false dichotomy. The truth is that both can play a key role in determining a behavior. The genotype determines the potential for a behavior to exist, while nature determines what phenotypic behavior actually results.
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Behavioral genetics are more complicated than Mendelian genetics because while Mendel's pea plants showed clearly distinctive characteristics, animal behavior does not always fit into such hard and fast categories. Successful identification of behavioral genes is most likely when the gene shows a high penetrance, that is, the genotype is expressed in the phenotype. Degree of expression is also important for success in determining behavioral genes. Behaviors that can be readily observed and quantified or categorized are easier to work with. Important Techniques and Strategies of Behavioral Genetics Behavioral genetics as an experimental field can be extremely technical and complicated. Here we will examine some of the important techniques and approaches to the study of behavioral genetics...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 01/27/2012 for the course BIOLOGY BSC1005 taught by Professor Rodriguez during the Winter '09 term at Broward College.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online