Are We Hardwired?

Are We Hardwired? : The Role of Genes in Human Behavior

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Addressing one of the most controversial topics in human biology, the role of genes in governing behaviour, this book is sure to generate widespread interest. Clark and Grunstein are excellent guides to the current scientific understanding, explaining the genetic and molecular basis of human behaviour within the broader context of animal behaviour generally. They develop the subject clearly, building up from the classic twin studies in humans, and from the most basic behaviours such as chemotaxis in paramecia, to corresponding tropisms and memory in roundworms, and memory and learning in fruit flies, then to complex behaviours of mice and humans. They cover all of the politically sensitive issues of behaviour genetics as applied to humans - susceptibilities to disease, eating disorders, aggression, addiction and compulsive behaviours, intelligence, sexual orientation - clearly, and with impeccable balance. The authors show why they feel that substantial parts of our personalities and identities are established by our exact genetic complements, without reducing us to powerless creations our genes. Behaviour is treated as a complex interaction of nature and nurture - to understand ourselves fully, neither can be dismissed out of hand. Clark brings a fine balance and graceful touch to his most ambitious popular book yet.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 332 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 26mm | 539.78g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Oxf Univ PR Pbk.
  • numerous line drawings
  • 0195178009
  • 9780195178005
  • 950,492

About William R. Clark

William R. Clark is Professor Emeritus of Immunology in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of a number of books about biology, immunology, and evolution, including Sex and the Origins of Death, A Means to an End: The Biological Basis of Aging and Death, and The New Healers: The Promise and Problems of Molecular Medicine in the Twenty-First Century. His website is: http://www.wrclarkbooks.com. Michael Grunstein is Professor of Biological Chemistry at the UCLA School of Medicine and Molecular Biology Institute.show more

Review quote

Are we hardwired? Do billion-year old genes play an important role in human behaviour? Pick up this book. You won't be able to put it down. * Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota * This book tells the story of how genes and other aspects of biology such as pheromones and neurotransmitters affect important behaviours such as aggression, eating disorders, drug use and abuse, sexual preference, learning and memory, and mental function. The story begins with the real stars of genetic research - sea slugs, roundworms, and fruit flies - and builds up to what we know about our own species. The story is told in a captivating way-exciting yet erudite. Excellent! * Robert Plomin, MRC Research Professor, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London and author of the upcoming fourth edition of Behaviour Genetics *show more

Table of contents

1. Mirror, mirror ; 2. In the beginning: the evolutionary origins of behaviour ; 3. The nose knows ; 4. As the worm turns: learning and memory in the roundworm C. elegans ; 5. About genes and behaviour ; 6. Life in the fourth dimension: the role of clocks in regulating behaviour ; 7. You must remember this: the evolution of learning and memory ; 8. The role of neurotransmitters in human behaviour ; 9. The genetics of aggression ; 10. The genetics of consumption, Part 1: eating disorders ; 11. The genetics of consumption, Part II: alcoholism and drug abuse ; 12. The genetics of human mental function ; 13. The genetics of human sexual preference ; 14. Genetics, the environment and free will ; Appendix 1: finding and identifying genes ; Appendix 2: a brief history of eugenicsshow more

Rating details

21 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 10% (2)
4 29% (6)
3 48% (10)
2 14% (3)
1 0% (0)
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