Evaluating genetic models of cognitive evolution and behaviour

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Douglas Wahlsten, Visiting Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Cognitive evolution can be studied at several different levels, ranging from complex societies of interdependent persons to the DNA molecules coding for enzymes that synthesize neurotransmitter molecules. Genetic models of cognitive evolution can be fairly evaluated only if they involve one or two genetic loci, maybe three loci if a massive investment of resources is made. If a simple genetic model is seriously proposed, it ought to be tested by genetic linkage analysis so that future theorizing can be guided and constrained by facts. For more complex behavioural characteristics based on large numbers of genes and intricate interrelations with the environment, genetic analysis and genetic theories are not likely to yield conclusive results. Instead, studying individual differences in the brain and neural correlates of cognitive processes will likely provide more rapid progress toward a deeper understanding of evolution.

Additional Information

Behavioural Processes, 35, 183-194.
Language: English
Date: 1996
Corpus callosum, Hippocampus, Epistasis, Linkage analysis, Quantitative trait locus (QTL), Statistical power

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