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Introduction to the Special Issue, Pathways Between Genes, Brain, and Behavior

  • Author(s): Kremen, William S.
  • Jacobson, Kristen C.
  • et al.

In the past 10 years or so, with the sequencing of the human genome and rapid advances in the development of high throughput techniques, the field of behavior genetics has increasingly moved toward the detection of actual genes and environmental factors. However, the field is still in the relatively early stages of understanding some of the basic facts about the complex genetic underpinnings of brain structure and function and their relationship to behavior. The 15 articles in this special issue were selected to represent the diversity of methodologies applied to the complexity of pathways linking genes, brain, and behavior. While providing strong evidence for the role of genes in individual differences in brain structure and function, these papers also demonstrate that environmental experiences alter neurobiological pathways, and that genetic factors may further moderate the impact of environmental experience. Most importantly, the breadth of studies proves that in order to be able to trace the pathways between genes, brain, and behavior, we need experts in genetics, neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry.

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