Genes, Brain Function, and Behavior

Genes, Brain Function, and Behavior

What Genes Do, How They Malfunction, and Ways to Repair Damage

1st Edition - March 14, 2019

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  • Author: Douglas Wahlsten
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128128329
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128128336

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Genes, Brain Function, and Behavior offers a concise description of the nervous system that processes sensory input and initiates motor movements. It reviews how behaviors are defined and measured, and how experts decide when a behavior is perturbed and in need of treatment. Behavioral disorders that are clearly related to a defect in a specific gene are reviewed, and the challenges of understanding complex traits such as intelligence, autism and schizophrenia that involve numerous genes and environmental factors are explored. New methods of altering genes offer hope for treating or even preventing difficulties that arise in our genes. This book explains what genes are, what they do in the nervous system, and how this impacts both brain function and behavior.

Key Features

  • Presents essential background, facts, and terminology about genes, brain function, and behavior
  • Builds clear explanations on this solid foundation while minimizing technical jargon
  • Explores in depth several single-gene and chromosomal neurological disorders
  • Derives lessons from these clear examples and highlights key lessons in boxes
  • Examines the intricacies of complex traits that involve multiple genetic and environmental factors by applying lessons from simpler disorders
  • Explains diagnosis and definition
  • Includes a companion website with Powerpoint slides and images for each chapter for instructors and links to resources


Neuroscientists, neurobiologists, neuro-oncologists, neurologists, post-doctoral fellows, researchers, graduate students in biological and biomedical sciences

Table of Contents

  • 1. Levels of explanation
    2. Genes
    3. Gene expression
    4. Nervous system
    5. Brain development
    6. Behavior
    7. Single gene transmission and expression
    8. Phenylketonuria – recessive expression
    9. Huntington disease – dominant expression
    10. Androgen insensitivity syndrome – X-linked transmission
    11. Leber’s optic neuritis – mitochondrial transmission
    12. Down syndrome – trisomy 21
    13. XYY male
    14. Complex traits
    15. Intelligence
    16. Autism spectrum disorder
    17. Schizophrenia
    18. Sex and gender
    19. Race
    20. Applications and ethics; dignity and human rights

Product details

  • No. of pages: 299
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2019
  • Published: March 14, 2019
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128128329
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128128336

About the Author

Douglas Wahlsten

Dr. Wahlsten received his Ph.D. degree in psychology from the University of California Irvine and completed his postdoctoral work in behavior genetics at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado. He then established research laboratories at the University of Waterloo, the University of Alberta, and the University of North Carolina. The laboratory work involved genetic and developmental analysis of mouse brain defects and methods of behavioral testing. He also acquired expertise in statistical data analysis and theoretical issues central to the field. He was a co-founder of the very successful journal Genes, Brain and Behavior, and was given the Distinguished Scientist award by the International Behavioral and Neural Genetics Society. Throughout his career, he has taught behavioral and neural genetics to undergraduate and graduate students.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Canada

Ratings and Reviews

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  • CaffynKelley Fri May 31 2019

    Great book

    This is a wonderful book on such an important field - engaging, accessible, provocative and erudite.