Special Reviews

Genes and Social Behavior

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Science  07 Nov 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5903, pp. 896-900
DOI: 10.1126/science.1159277

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What genes and regulatory sequences contribute to the organization and functioning of neural circuits and molecular pathways in the brain that support social behavior? How does social experience interact with information in the genome to modulate brain activity? Here, we address these questions by highlighting progress that has been made in identifying and understanding two key “vectors of influence” that link genes, the brain, and social behavior: (i) Social information alters gene expression in the brain to influence behavior, and (ii) genetic variation influences brain function and social behavior. We also discuss how evolutionary changes in genomic elements influence social behavior and outline prospects for a systems biology of social behavior.

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