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Nat Rev Genet. 2011 Nov 8;12(12):809-20. doi: 10.1038/nrg3065.

Genetic contributions to behavioural diversity at the gene-environment interface.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Laboratory for Neural Circuits and Behavior, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10065, USA.


Recent work on behavioural variation within and between species has furthered our understanding of the genetic architecture of behavioural traits, the identities of relevant genes and the ways in which genetic variants affect neuronal circuits to modify behaviour. Here we review our understanding of the genetics of natural behavioural variation in non-human animals and highlight the implications of these findings for human genetics. We suggest that gene-environment interactions are central to natural genetic variation in behaviour and that genes affecting neuromodulatory pathways and sensory processing are preferred sites of naturally occurring mutations.

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