1 Behavioral Genetics

Behavioral Neuroscience

  1. Stephen C. Maxson PhD

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop203001

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Maxson, S. C. 2012. Behavioral Genetics. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 3:1.

Author Information

  1. University of Connecticut, Department of Psychology, Storrs, Connecticut, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


Genetics can be used as a tool in the study of behavior in three ways. In the context of evolution, genetics can aid in defining natural units of behavior, analyzing the underlying biological mechanisms of behavior, and identifying the effects of environmental and experiential variables on behavior. Behaviors considered include emotionality, olfaction, social recognition, aggression, stress, parenting, and cognition in rodents, as well as personality, aggression, antisocial behavior, and psychopathology in humans. The subjects for and methods of behavioral genetics are also reviewed as background to the substantive sections of this chapter.


  • genetics;
  • QTLs;
  • knockouts;
  • transgenics;
  • knock downs;
  • gene chips;
  • gene expression;
  • olfaction;
  • social recognition;
  • emotionality;
  • aggression;
  • parenting;
  • cognition;
  • stress;
  • personality;
  • psychopathology;
  • genotype by genotype interaction;
  • genotype by environment interaction;
  • epigenetics;
  • MOE;
  • VNO;
  • OT;
  • OTR;
  • ER-α;
  • ER-β;
  • MAOA;
  • 5HTT;
  • COMT;
  • CHRM2;
  • mice;
  • rodents;
  • humans