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This book introduces concepts from the field of behavior genetics at a level readily comprehended by upper-division undergraduates, or graduate students from a variety of disciplines including Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Anthropology and Sociology.
The text begins with a brief introduction to the field of behavior genetics, including some historical insight. Subsequent chapters build a basic understanding of genetics, beginning with the molecular structure of DNA and how it is organized into genes that then direct protein structure and function. Readers are then guided into an explanation of how genes may directly influence the neurons from which behaviors originate. One chapter is dedicated to describing methods used in the discovery process of basic genetic research.
Having established an understanding of how genes influence neural processes responsible for behavior, concepts of hereditary patterns are then introduced. Two chapters are dedicated to heredity research spanning basic Mendelian patterns to more complex concepts of multiple-gene inheritance. A third chapter describes the influence of environmental factors on inheritance patterns, with an additional chapter dedicated to describing methodological approaches to studying hereditary patterns.
With a solid foundation established for understanding genetics and heredity, a sequence of five chapters applies earlier concepts to both normal and abnormal behaviors associated with cognition, mood, and sexual behaviors. Health issues including cardiovascular stress disorders, eating disorders, and addictions are also discussed. The book concludes with two chapters on practical application of behavior genetics, including insight into careers and the future of this rapidly expanding field.
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Terence J. Bazzett is Associate Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the College, State University of New York College at Geneseo. He earned a B.S. in Psychology from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. in Biopsychology from SUNY Buffalo. Previous publications include a Study Guide for Kolb and Whishaw's Introduction to Brain and Behavior. Dr. Bazzett was recognized by the SUNY Research Foundation for his development of an automated mouse reaching chamber, now licensed by Lafayette Instrument. His major research interest is genetic influences on neurodegenerative disorders, with particular focus on animal models of Huntington disease.
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