Genes and Behavior

Overview

In this major new book, eminent scientist Professor Sir Michael Rutter gets behind the hype of the behavioral genetics debate to provide a balanced and authoritative overview of the genetic revolution and its implications for understanding human behavior.

  • Written by one of the world's leading figures in...
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Overview

In this major new book, eminent scientist Professor Sir Michael Rutter gets behind the hype of the behavioral genetics debate to provide a balanced and authoritative overview of the genetic revolution and its implications for understanding human behavior.

  • Written by one of the world's leading figures in child psychology and psychiatry, Professor Sir Michael Rutter.
  • Provides non-technical explanation of genetics to diffuse the sensational debates surrounding the topic.
  • Sets out in layman's terms what genes do, how much is nature and how much is nurture.
  • Argues that nature and nurture are not truly separate and gives examples of how the two interact.
  • Looks at the implications of genetic findings for policy and practice.
  • The book will inform public debate about the implications of the Human Genome Project and, more broadly, the field of genetic science.
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What People Are Saying


"In this highly readable and intellectually honest book, the latest advances in molecular and behavior genetics are brought to bear on our knowledge of psychology and psychiatry. The end product is an eloquent exposition of “genetic realism” in the context of behavior, and will surely be of interest to all who are curious about the forces that give rise to human behavior, both normal and abnormal."

Charles A. Nelson III, Harvard Medical School

"Genes and Behavior: Nature–Nurture Interplay Explained manages to be comprehensive, lucid, and clear, without oversimplifying what is an inherently complex subject. It enables a clinician to understand the fundamentals of genetics as they apply to medicine and a geneticist to understand the environmental determinants of the phenotype. What makes it entirely remarkable is that it is comprehensible to generalists and yet has much to teach specialists."

Leon Eisenberg, Harvard Medical School

"No one but Michael Rutter could have written this remarkable, compelling book. At last we have a clear and balanced treatment of the role genes play in the variations among individuals in behavioral traits and psychosocial pathologies. Rutter rescues the reader from the excesses of both the "evangelical" geneticists and the environmental extremists. He draws on his vast knowledge of the pertinent theories and empirical work, and takes the reader beyond the limited scope of statistical twin and adoption studies into the recent work of molecular geneticists, illuminating some of the complex biological processes that govern the ways in which genetic factors can work or fail to work ininfluencing behavioral outcomes, and how their effects can be modified by experience. Rutter presents a carefully reasoned case for co-action of genetic and environmental factors at all stages of development. A must-read for anyone seriously interested in nature/nurture issues."

Eleanor E. Maccoby, Stanford Center on Adolescence

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405110624
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/15/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Sir Michael Rutter trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, London, and in child development at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. He was appointed to the first UK Chair in Child Psychiatry in 1973 and since his retirement in 1998, he has held a research chair in Developmental Psychopathology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London. He has authored or edited some forty books, published over four hundred scientific papers, and has received numerous international awards and honors. Sir Michael is a member of the US Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and a foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the US National Academy of Education. He received a CBE in 1985 and was knighted in 1992. He was Deputy Chairman of the Wellcome Trust from 1999 to 2004 and continues as a trustee of several foundations, including the Nuffield Foundation.
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Table of Contents

1 Why is the topic of genes and behavior controversial? 1
2 Causes and risks 18
3 How much is nature and how much nurture? 40
4 The heritability of different mental disorders and traits 64
5 Environmentally mediated risks 93
6 Patterns of inheritance 117
7 What genes do 144
8 Finding and understanding specific susceptibility genes 156
9 Gene-environment interplay 178
10 What environments do to genes 211
11 Conclusions 221
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