Gene‐to‐behavior Pathways

Abstract

The ‘gene‐to‐behavior' pathway is a concept meant to counter overly deterministic ways of thinking about the effects of genes on behavior. Gene‐to‐behavior pathways incorporate mechanisms of gene action, endophenotypes and variable behavioral expression, as well as notions of the complexity of biological systems.

Keywords: endophenotype; probabilistic epigenesis; multigene disorders; quantitative trait loci; dynamic systems

Figure 1.

The genes‐to‐behavior pathway for intelligence. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs; hypothetical relevant genes) are depicted at the bottom, and the large tubes represent endophenotypes. (Reproduced from Gottesman II (1997) Twins: en route to QTLs for cognition. Science276(5318): 1522–1523.)

close

References

Gottesman II and Shields J (1972) Schizophrenia and Genetics: A Twin Study Vantage Point. New York, NY: Academic Press.

Greenough WT, Klintsova AY, Irwin SA, et al. (2001) Synaptic regulation of protein synthesis and the fragile X protein. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98: 7101–7106.

John B and Lewis KR (1966) Chromosome variability and geographic distribution in insects. Science 152: 711–721.

Meaney MJ (2001) Maternal care, gene expression, and the transmission of individual differences in stress reactivity across generations. Annual Review of Neuroscience 24: 1161–1192.

Meehl PE (1972) Specific genetic etiology, psychodynamics, and therapeutic nihilism. International Journal of Mental Health 1: 10–27.

Further Reading

Emde RN and Hewitt JK (eds) (2001) The Transition from Infancy to Early Childhood: Genetic and Environmental Influences in the MacArthur Longitudinal Twin Study. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Francis D, Diorio J, Liu D and Meany MJ (1999) Nongenomic transmission across generations of maternal behavior and stress responses in the rat. Science 286: 1155–1158.

Goldsmith HH and Gottesman II (1995) Heritable variability and variable heritability in developmental psychopathology. In: Lenzenweger MF, Haugaard J (eds) Frontiers in Psychopathology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Gottesman II (1997) Twins: en route to QTLs for cognition. Science 276: 1522–1523.

Kauffman SA (1993) The Origins of Order: Self‐organization and Selection in Evolution. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Kiberstis P and Roberts L (2002) It's not just the genes. Science 296: 685.

Leboyer M, Bellivier F, Nosten‐Bertrand M, et al. (1998) Psychiatric genetics: search for phenotypes. Trends in Neuroscience 21: 102–105.

McGuffin P, Owen MJ, O'Donovan MC, Thapar A and Gottesman II (1994) Seminars in Psychiatric Genetics. London, UK: Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Strohman R (2002) Maneuvering in the complex path from genotype to phenotype. Science 296: 701–703.

Wahlsten D (1999) Single‐gene influences on brain and behavior. Annual Review of Psychology 50: 599–624.

Web Links

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/LocusLink/LocRpt.cgi?l=2332 Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1); LocusID: 2332. LocusLink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin‐post/Omim/dispmim?309550

Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1); MIM number: 309550. OMIM:

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Goldsmith, H Hill(Jul 2006) Gene‐to‐behavior Pathways. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005232]