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Is the child ‘father of the Man’? Evaluating the stability of genetic influences across development
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Is the child ‘father of the Man’? Evaluating the stability of genetic influences across development

Author: Angelica Ronald Affiliation: Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, UK
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Developmental Science, v14 n6 (November 2011): 1471-1478
Database:Wiley Online Library
Summary:
This selective review considers findings in genetic research that have shed light on how genes operate across development. We will address the question of whether the child is ‘father of the Man’ from a genetic perspective. In other words, do the same genetic influences affect the same traits across development? Using a ‘taster menu’ approach and prioritizing newer findings on cognitive and behavioral traits, examples from the following genetic disciplines will be discussed: (a) developmental quantitative genetics (such as longitudinal twin studies), (b) neurodevelopmental genetic syndromes with known genetic causes (such as Williams syndrome), (c) developmental candidate gene studies (such as those that link infant and adult populations), (d) developmental genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and (e) DNA resequencing. Evidence presented here suggests that there is considerable genetic stability of cognitive and behavioral traits across development, but there is also evidence for genetic change. Quantitative genetic studies have a long history of assessing genetic continuity and change across development. It is now time for the newer, more technology-enabled fields such as GWAS and DNA resequencing also to take on board the dynamic nature of human behavior.  Read more...
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Angelica Ronald Affiliation: Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, UK
ISSN:1363-755X
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5153107799
Notes: Angelica Ronald, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, London WC1E 7XH, UK; e-mail: a.ronald@bbk.ac.uk
Received: 4 August 2011 Accepted: 25 August 2011
Awards:
Other Titles: Genetics and development
Responsibility: Angelica Ronald

Abstract:

This selective review considers findings in genetic research that have shed light on how genes operate across development. We will address the question of whether the child is ‘father of the Man’ from a genetic perspective. In other words, do the same genetic influences affect the same traits across development? Using a ‘taster menu’ approach and prioritizing newer findings on cognitive and behavioral traits, examples from the following genetic disciplines will be discussed: (a) developmental quantitative genetics (such as longitudinal twin studies), (b) neurodevelopmental genetic syndromes with known genetic causes (such as Williams syndrome), (c) developmental candidate gene studies (such as those that link infant and adult populations), (d) developmental genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and (e) DNA resequencing. Evidence presented here suggests that there is considerable genetic stability of cognitive and behavioral traits across development, but there is also evidence for genetic change. Quantitative genetic studies have a long history of assessing genetic continuity and change across development. It is now time for the newer, more technology-enabled fields such as GWAS and DNA resequencing also to take on board the dynamic nature of human behavior.

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