- First Prize winner of the 2013 BMA Medical Book Award for Basic and Clinical Sciences
- Poses and resolves challenges to moral responsibility raised by modern genetics and neuroscience
- Analyzes the neurogenetic origins of human behavior and free will
- Written by one of the world's most influential neurogeneticists, founder of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at the National Institutes of Health
Our Genes, Our Choices: How Genotype and Gene Interactions Affect Behavior — First Prize winner of the 2013 BMA Medical Book Award for Basic and Clinical Sciences — explains how the complexity of human behavior, including concepts of free will, derives from a relatively small number of genes, which direct neurodevelopmental sequence. Are people free to make choices, or do genes determine behavior? Paradoxically, the answer to both questions is "yes," because of neurogenetic individuality, a new theory with profound implications.
Author David Goldman uses judicial, political, medical, and ethical examples to illustrate that this lifelong process is guided by individual genotype, molecular and physiologic principles, as well as by randomness and environmental exposures, a combination of factors that we choose and do not choose.
Written in an authoritative yet accessible style, the book includes practical descriptions of the function of DNA, discusses the scientific and historical bases of genethics, and introduces topics of epigenetics and the predictive power of behavioral genetics.
Students and researchers involved in human genetics, medical genetics, behavioral genetics and neurogenetics.
Our Genes, Our Choices, 1st Edition
A Note on Gene and Protein Symbols
About the Author
Chapter 1. The Neurogenetic Origins of Behavior
Chapter 2. The Jinn in the Genome
Fifteen Minutes of Fame
Some Famous Geneticists, and Why they are Famous
The Jinn of Knowledge and the Jinn of Technology
Revolutions in Culture and Evolution of Genes
Genes, Brain and Individuality
The Neurogenetics of Determinism and Freedom
Chapter 3. 2B or Not 2B?
A Common Gene Knockout Causing Severe Impulsivity
Validating a Human Impulsivity Gene in a Mouse Model
Chapter 4. Stephen Mobley and His X-Chromosome
The Kallikak Effect
Mobley Demands a Genetic Test
Combining Gene and Hormone to Predict Impulsivity
Carrying Kohl to Italy
The State of DNA in Prediction of Violence
Chapter 5. Dial Multifactorial for Murder
A Murder in the Lab
Missing Puzzle Pieces, an Obstacle to Behavioral Reductionism
Why are Some Societies More Violent than Others?
Guns or People?
Can Gun Control Civilize People, and If So, What Does That Mean?
Chapter 6. Distorted Capacity I
The Inheritance of Impulsivity, and What It Means
Impulsivity Differs from Person to Person and From Species to Species: The Gorilla and the King
Impulsivity and Aggression in Context
Measuring Impulsivity and Aggression by Life History
Measuring Impulsivity and Aggression by Experiment
Integrating Experimental and Life History Measures of Impulsivity with Genes and Neural Circuits
Animal Models of Impulsivity and Aggression
Chapter 7. Distorted Capacity II
Impulsivity, Aggression and Neuropsychiatric Disease
Diseases with Disordered Impulse
Disorders of Impulse Control
Chapter 8. Inheritance of Behavior and Genes “For” Behavior
The Debate on the Heritability of Behavior
Genome Determines Reaction Range
Reaction Range: Theory and Reality
Twin Studies: The Controversy and the Method
The Debate on Genes “For” Behavior
People Are Not Monkeys
The Politics of Behavioral Genetics
Questioning the Phenotype: Is Psychiatric Diagnosis Valid?
Chapter 9. The Scientific and Historic Bases of Genethics
Standards of Science and Standards of Evidence
Genethics of Research: Trust, but Verify
Why It Is a Chore to Get a Human Study Approved: A Brief Lesson in Expedience
Are Genetic Studies Harmful?
Genes, Jobs and Groups: Individual and Class Impact
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
Genethics of Gene Therapy
Group Consent or Individual Consent?
Autonomy: Pretense and Realism
Chapter 10. The World is Double Helical
Recipes for DNA Analysis
What Is Polymorphism?
Chapter 11. The Stochastic Brain
The Protein Interactome: Six Degrees of Molecular Separation
Snowflakes and Neurons
Brain Genes: Cascade Effects, Chaotic Effects and Great Attractors
Use It or Lose It
The Fractal Nature of Individual Neurons
Higher Order Brain Structure and Randomness
The Stochastic Basis of Behavioral Intelligence: Guided Randomness
Rules that Guide the Chaos of Brain Development and Evolution
Genetic Individuality, Chaos and Sense of Self
Chapter 12. Reintroducing Genes and Behavior
Behavioral Prediction, a Science Imperfect
Commercialization of Genetic Behavioral Prediction
The Future of Genetic Behavioral Prediction
A Gene Causing Anemia
A Gene Causing Self-Mutilation
A Gene Causing Mental Retardation
What is a Genetic Test?
Chapter 13. Warriors and Worriers
A Common Gene “For” Cognitive Function
Executive Cognitive Function
Warriors and Worriers
Chapter 14. How Many Genes Does it Take to Make a Behavior?
Epistatic and Polygenic Models of Behavior: On Epistasis
Bayesian Reasoning: How to Use Prior Probability
Behavior and the Single Gene
Chapter 15. The Genesis and Genetics of Sexual Behavior
Biological Determinants of Sexual Behavior
We Are Love Machines
Sneaker Males and Other Alternative Reproductive Strategies
Slaves to Sex: The Difficulty of Turning Off the Sex Drive
A Better Sex Life: How People Modulate and Harness Their Sex Drives
Forbidden Pleasures: Why Are Some People Turned On by Shoes?
Sex and Psychosis
Homosexuality and the “Gay Gene”
Elliot Gershon and the In-Depth Family Paradigm
Discovery of the “Gay Gene”
Inheritance of Homosexuality
How Prevalent is Homosexuality?
“Father Knows Best”, but He Didn’t Tell You
The Future of the Genetics of Sexuality: A Bright and Shining Path
Chapter 16. Gene By Environment Interaction
Nature, In Extremis
Nurture, In Extremis
Asking the Right Question about Nature/Nurture
What is a Gene By Environment Interaction?
Genes that Modulate Stress Resilience
Imaging Genetics: A Window into the Brain
Intermediate Phenotypes and Endophenotypes
Imaging Genetics and Stress Resiliency
Gene By Environment: Back to Complex Clinical Outcomes
Genocide and Resiliency in Rwanda
Animal Models of Gene By Stress Interaction
Love, in Monkeys?
Chapter 17. The Epigenetic Revolution
An Imprint of Experience in the DNA
Types of Epigenetic Imprint
Wiping the Epigenetic Slate (Nearly) Clean …
… But Not Quite Clean
Evolutionary Sculpting of CpG Islands
How to Measure Epigenetic Variation
First Look at the “Depth” of the Human Genome
Chapter 18. DNA on Trial
Is Everyone as Free to Choose?
Impulsivity and Impulsive Choice
A Rare Gene for Impulsivity
The Legal Crucible for Genotypic Prediction
New Revolutions in Genotypic Prediction
Ideology and the Genetics of Behavioral Prediction
Chapter 19. Parents and Children
A Brief Manual of Parenting
Free Will: The Conundrum of Behavioral Causality
Exorcising the Specter of Genetic Behavioral Determinism
A Little Personality Goes a Long Way
Different Niches for Different Folks
Chapter 20. Summing Up Genetic Predictors of Behavior
List of Figures