- Describe how genes interact with environmental factors to affect behavior.
- What major neurotransmitters are associated with mood? How are they involved in abnormal behavior?
- What role do emotions play in psychopathology?
- Your initial post should be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 3 academic sources.
How genes interact with environmental factors to affect behavior
Genes are the basic building blocks of our genetic material. They are the source of our inherited characteristics, including our behaviors. Scientists have long known that genes and environment interact to affect behavior, but they have only just begun to understand exactly how this happens.
There are a variety of ways in which genes and environment interact to affect behavior.
1. Genetics can influence a person’s temperament. For instance, some people are more prone to anxiety or depression because of their genetic makeup. This may lead to different behaviors in response to different environmental stimuli.
2. Genes can also affect how someone responds to rewards and punishments. For example, if you’re regularly rewarded for doing good things, your genes might encourage you to continue behaving in that way. Conversely, if you’re frequently punished for bad behavior, your genes might lead you to behave differently in order to avoid punishment.
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3. Genes can interact with the environment to change a person’s intelligence or behavioral traits. For example, if your parents are both intelligent, you may have a higher IQ because of it. Alternatively, if your parents are strict disciplinarians, you may be more likely to exhibit behavioral traits similar to those of your parents.
4. Genes can be turned on or off by environmental factors. This is called gene-environment interaction (GxE). Gene-environment interaction can also change the way a gene works. For example, one study found that a gene that controls aggression is more likely to be turned on when people are exposed to violence movies.
5. Other ways in which genes and environment interact to affect behavior involve changes in the way the body uses or produces chemicals. For example, a study found that children who were raised in homes with high levels of lead exposure were more likely to engage in delinquent behavior later in life. The scientists think that lead may have changed the way the brain processes dopamine, a chemical that is important for controlling emotions and behaviors.
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1. What are environmental factors and how can environmental factors interact with genes?
Environmental factors such as diet, temperature, oxygen levels, humidity, light cycles, and the presence of mutagens can all impact which of an animal’s genes are expressed, which ultimately affects the animal’s phenotype.
2. What is an example of a gene that is affected by environmental factors?
A pigment gene is influenced by temperature. Gene C controls fur pigmentation in Himalayan rabbits. Because the gene is active when environmental temperatures are between 15 and 25°C, the rabbit reared at 20°C (left) has pigmentation on its ears, nose, and feet, where its body loses the most heat.
3. How environmental factors influence the functions of the genes?
Environmentally induced changes in gene expression occur when exposure to chemicals changes which genes are turned “on” or “off”—which can change how the cells function and thus a person’s predisposition to disease. The effect of this chemical modification is called epigenetic regulation.
4. What are the three types of gene environment interactions?
Gene–environment correlations (rGE) occur when there are genetically influenced differences in exposure to environmental risk factors. There are three main types of rGE: passive, active, and evocative
5. How does genes and environment affect the development of a child?
Gene-Environment Interactions: The environment a child is exposed to both in utero and throughout the rest of his or her life can also impact how genes are expressed. For example, exposure to harmful drugs while in utero can have a dramatic impact on later child development.