Behavioral Genetics and Other Biological Influences on Criminal Behavior

Behavioral genetics explains the genetic contributions to both normal behavior and behavioral aberrations. Two general strategies are utilized by researchers. The top-down approach, behavioral genomics, begins with atypical behaviors and identifies genetic aberrations (e.g., less common alleles, including single nucleotide polymorphisms) in the atypical group. Single nucleotide polymorphisms are variations in nucleotide sequences between individuals from single base-pair alterations, missing base pairs (deletions), additional base pairs (insertions), or number of copies of a gene. The bottom-up strategy involves tracing an atypically functioning gene product (e.g., protein) to its DNA and the function of the gene product through its influence on neuronal function in information processing and its expression in behavior. Ideally, the two are complementary, providing complementary understanding of behaviors of interest.

These strategies would be ...

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