a PSYC 408 Hum Beh Gen
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Human Behavior Genetics

PSYC 408, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Instructor: Jaime Derringer, jderr@illinois.edu, https://psychology.illinois.edu/directory/profile/jderr
Class meetings: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00 am - 12:20 pm in 32 Psychology
Individual meetings: After class or by appointment (email) in 419 Psychology
Course Websites: https://jaimederringer.github.io/psyc408/, https://compass2g.illinois.edu/
Have a question? Email or tweet me.

Goals

There are no prerequisites for PSYC 408. If you think the material sounds interesting, this class is for you. This semester, we will:

  • Understand how the basic principles of genetics can be used in the study of behavior.
  • Evaluate the extent to which human individual differences are influenced by genes
  • Consider the implications of genetic knowledge in psychology.

This is a highly interactive class. Success depends on students learning from and respecting one another. This respect includes the time and effort contributed by each student to the learning of the group.

The aim of this course is to provide students with a clearer understanding of the contribution that genes make to individual differences in behavior. Students will be in a better position to evaluate evidence for and against genetic and environmental influences. They will also gain an appreciation of the interrelationships of biological and social causes of behavior and will gain a better understanding of influences that might affect themselves and others.

The course will be intellectually demanding, and will require a substantial amount of reading, active in-class discussion, and attentive development of a serious term paper. The course will require about 3 to 6 hours per week outside class for readings and assignments. If you have any concerns about your preparedness for this course, please talk with the instructor.


xkcd, "DNA"

Grades

Grades are assigned based on your final point total at the end of the semester. Points come from two sources: (1) attendance and participation and (2) a term paper.

Letter Grade A B C D F
Point Total 90 - 100 80 - 89.999 70 - 79.999 60 - 69.999 < 60

Attendance & Participation (50% total grade)

Starting Week 3 (after the add deadline), you earn 2 points per class meeting for attendance and participation. Everyone gets one absence without losing points, no questions asked. If you miss more than one day, you may make-up the points by submitting (email) a 500-word essay on the topic (or a reading) covered during the class you missed within 1 week of the missed class.

Term Paper (50% total grade)

You may choose any topic related to the course content (behavior genetics), as long as I approve it. The final paper will be about 3,500 to 4,000 words (12 – 15 pages) for undergrads, or 4,000 to 4,500 words (15 – 18 pages) for grad students, plus references. I care more about clarity, insight, evidence, and the flow of argument than about length. Expect to read at least 10 – 20 published research papers on your topic of choice. For graduate students, plan to produce a paper that you could turn around and submit as a review in a decent journal or a book chapter.

Graduate students’ performance is evaluated against higher expectations for intellectual rigor, argument, and synthesis. Undergrads and grad students are graded separately.

All assignments are due by 11:59 pm on their listed due dates (always Thursday, unless noted otherwise). If you know that you are going to miss a deadline, email before the due date to discuss a possible extension. Late assignments lose 20% credit per calendar day. Assignments due on Thursday reduce to 80% of the earned points if submitted on Friday, 60% on Saturday, 40% on Sunday, 20% on Monday.

Select a topic for your term paper and find 5 references. Pick something you're interested in! You may choose any topic related to the course content (behavior genetics).

If your topic is a specific phenotype, try searching Google Scholar for:

  • [phenotype] heritability
  • [phenotype] GWAS
  • [phenotype] genetics

Google Scholar sorts results to prioritize highly cited papers. You may want to restrict to recent publication years so you don't get a bunch of out-of-date research (for example, select the 'Since 2016' option at top left). If you find a paper you like, look for papers that that paper cites, or that cite that paper (click the 'Cited by' link under the reference listing in Google Scholar). Where an author's name is underlined in the reference listing, follow the link to view their profile, which includes all of their published papers (useful if you find a paper that you really like, and you'd like to read more of their work) - you can sort by number of citations (their most popular papers) or by year (their most recent papers).

Use APA format for the references. The Purdue OWL website is a handy free guide for APA formatting. If you find a reference on Google Scholar, click the image of the quotation mark to copy the APA-formatted citation.

In your own words, summarize 10 articles related to your paper topic.

For empirical articles (that is, papers reporting a new analysis of data), use the Empirical Article Summary template. For review articles, use the Review Article Summary template. If you use an article whose primary purpose is to describe a method (not a result of an analysis), use the Method Summary template.

The FINAL paper will be about 3,500 to 4,500 words (12 - 18 pages) plus 10-20 references; your draft should be at least 8 pages of text (assuming double-spaced 12pt Times New Roman or 11pt Arial, not including references). The more complete your draft, however, the more useful your peer review feedback will be and the less work you'll need to put in to produce the final version. Draft papers shorter than 8 pages or that do not address course-relevant content (behavior genetics) will not be circulated for peer review.

A suggestion for how to move from your 10 article summaries to a draft of your paper:

  1. Sort your 10 article summaries into 2-4 thematically/topically similar groups
  2. Give each theme or topic group a descriptive title (like, "Heritability", "Associated Genes", "Ethical Considerations", "Non-Human Animal Studies", "Developmental Effects", "Sex Differences", "Gene-Environment Interplay", "Overlap with Other Phenotypes" - relevant topics will vary, but whatever is useful for organizing the articles you've summarized)
  3. Paste the article summaries together by sub-topic. Then, paste the sub-topics together, including the descriptive title as the sub-header for that section.
  4. Before the first topic, write an introduction: what is your topic, and why is it important?
  5. After the last topic, write a Discussion section where you briefly summarize what your above detailed description of the current literature shows, and what in your opinion would be the best recommended next steps for research on this topic to move forward.
  6. Once you have this rough first draft, edit with special consideration toward the issues we identified in the Science Communication activity of how to summarize research.
  7. If you notice while editing that one (or more) of your subtopics is a little sparse, find additional research on that topic to fill out what you already have.
Draft Paper Rubric

Proficient Competent Novice
Topic Coverage 3 points
Provides broad coverage of a range of behavior genetic approaches to the topic, or in-depth coverage of a specific area/methods of genetic research on the topic.
1.5 points 0 points
Presented research is not clearly related to course themes.
Variety of References 3 points
Information comes from a variety of primary research reports.
1.5 points 0 points
Over-reliance on one or two existing review papers of the topic and/or excessive use of quotations (research findings not restated in student's own words).
Organization 2 points
Provides a coherent/logical flow between topics. Includes some elements of synthesis or overall summary.
1 point 0 points
Information is presented as if in list format, with no transition or synthesis across information.
Grammar 2 points
Easy to read, with APA formatted in-text and reference list citations. (Does not need to be free of minor grammar or spelling errors or in final/perfect APA format, as long as content is clear and citations are present and an attempt at APA format has been made.)
1 point 0 points
Widespread grammar/spelling errors or sentence fragments make draft unreadable.

Create a brief piece (blog post, tweet thread, wikipedia page, video, infographic, or graphic storytelling) to convey information about your paper topic to the public. * Students who do not submit a Draft will receive 1/2 credit on their Final Digital Media Project.

Provide structured, journal-style feedback on 2 others’ draft papers. Follow the example peer review structure and submit each review as a separate document.

Final version of your digital media piece. It will be scored by your peers on Informativeness and Engagement. * Students who did not submit Drafts Digital Media Projects will receive 1/2 credit.

Evaluate your peers' Digital Media Projects on Informativeness and Engagement. A rating form will be posted.

The final paper will be about 3,500 to 4,000 words (12 – 15 pages) for undergrads, or 4,000 to 4,500 words (15 – 18 pages) for grad students, plus references. It is evaluated on topic coverage, organization, grammar, APA formatting, and responsiveness to reviewer comments.

If you have earned at least 90 points by this point in the semester, you are not required to submit a Final Paper to receive an A for the course.

Final Paper Rubric

Proficient Competent Novice
Topic Coverage 6 points
Provides broad coverage of a range of behavior genetic approaches to the topic, or in-depth coverage of a specific area/method of genetic research on the topic. Information comes from a variety of primary research reports and includes the student's own synthesis or summary of the current research literature. Concepts are clearly presented and technical terms are defined.
3 points
Coverage of the topic is superficial. Some technical terms remain undefined or there are points that are not clearly presented/described. Excessive use of quotations (research findings not restated in the student's own words).
0 points
Presented research is not clearly related to course themes. Reliance on one or two existing review papers of the topic, instead of primary research reports.
Organization, Grammar, Formatting, Response to Peer Review 3 points
Well organized and easy to follow with a clear narrative flow. Near perfect grammar and spelling. Near perfect APA style, including paper structure and formatting, title page, abstract, in-text citations, and reference list. Final paper is clearly responsive to reasonable suggestions made during peer review process.
1.5 points
Specific topics clearly organized into sections, but little to no transition between topics and/or lack of "big picture" summary of topic, either in introduction or conclusion sections. Several noticeable grammar or spelling errors. Several noticeable errors in APA style. Some improvements made in response to peer review but several major concerns or reasonable suggestions that were made in peer review are ignored.
0 points
Little to no clear organization; difficult to follow or understand topic being addressed or argument made in several sections. Frequent errors of grammar or spelling that make the paper difficult to read. Little to no evidence of use of APA style; missing a major element such as title, abstract, or citations. Little to no evidence of improvement since the peer-reviewed draft version.

Schedule

Free versions of assigned readings are linked wherever possible. Assigned readings that are only available behind a paywall are posted for students on the UIUC-login-required course site at https://compass2g.illinois.edu/.

Lectures in the first half of the semester are focused on building a basis of knowledge about concepts, methods, and themes in human behavior genetics. Most weeks will be taught in a 'flipped classroom' approach. You are expected to do assigned readings before the Tuesday class, so that you can fully participate in the in-class activities.

Citron tags indicate things to do (mostly, read) before the Tuesday class.

Gray-blue tags describe major in-class activities for the week.

Teal tags identify assignments that are due that week (by Thursday at 11:59pm, unless otherwise noted).

A major course goal is completion of a substantial term paper. In any weeks where the assigned readings are relatively light, it is assumed that you will be reading papers for your term paper.

Week 1: What We Know and What We Don't

Read Plomin, R., DeFries, J. C., Knopik, V. S., & Neiderhiser, J. M. (2016). Top 10 replicated findings from behavioral genetics. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(1), 3-23. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691615617439

Read Briley, D. A., Livengood, J., Derringer, J., Tucker-Drob, E. M., Fraley, R. C., & Roberts, B. W. (2019). Interpreting behavior genetic models: seven developmental processes to understand. Behavior Genetics, 49(2), 196-210. http://publish.illinois.edu/dabriley/files/2018/11/Briley-2018-Interpreting-behavior-genetic-models.pdf

Watch Crash Course: Biology [youtube] has all the background information and keywords you need to get started in this course. A good review if you haven't taken (or don't remember) biology.

Resource Jaime Derringer's Behavior Genetics Glossary

Activity Identify main points, controversial ideas, and questions among the 10 Replicated Findings and 7 Developmental Processes. shared google doc

Week 2: We've Been Wrong Before

Read Caspi, A., Sugden, K., Moffitt, T. E., Taylor, A., Craig, I. W., Harrington, H., ... & Poulton, R. (2003). Influence of life stress on depression: moderation by a polymorphism in the 5-HTT gene. Science, 301(5631), 386-389. student copy on compass

Read Border, R., Johnson, E. C., Evans, L. M., Smolen, A., Berley, N., Sullivan, P. F., & Keller, M. C. (2019). No support for historical candidate gene or candidate gene-by-interaction hypotheses for major depression across multiple large samples. American Journal of Psychiatry, 176(5), 376-387. student copy on compass

Read Alexander, S. (7 May 2019). 5-HTTLPR: A pointed review. Slate Star Codex. https://slatestarcodex.com/2019/05/07/5-httlpr-a-pointed-review/

Slides The story of MAOA, "The Warrior Gene"

Week 3: Ancestry and Scientific Racism

Read Loehlin, J. C. (2009). History of behavior genetics. In Handbook of Behavior Genetics (pp. 3-11). Springer, New York, NY. student copy on compass

Skim History of eugenics (n.d.). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_eugenics

Watch Crash Course Biology #18 Population Genetics (11:03)

Read Martin, A. R., Kanai, M., Kamatani, Y., Okada, Y., Neale, B. M., & Daly, M. J. (2019). Clinical use of current polygenic risk scores may exacerbate health disparities. Nature Genetics, 51(4), 584-591. student copy on compass

Read Tsosie, K. S., Yracheta, J. M., & Dickenson, D. (2019). Overvaluing individual consent ignores risks to tribal participants. Nature Reviews Genetics, 20(9), 497-498. student copy on compass

Slides Population Genetics & Ancestry

Slides A (very brief) history of eugenics

Lecture Notes Thursday Feb 6 2020

Video Eugenicist Movement in America: Victims Coming Forward

Survey Jigsaw topic preferences

Week 4: Finding and Reading BG Papers

Read Luo, J., Derringer, J., Briley, D. A., & Roberts, B. W. (2017). Genetic and environmental pathways underlying personality traits and perceived stress: Concurrent and longitudinal twin studies. European Journal of Personality, 31(6), 614-629. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.2127

We will go through this paper as an example of How to Read a Twin Study.

Read Day, F. R., Ong, K. K., & Perry, J. R. (2018). Elucidating the genetic basis of social interaction and isolation. Nature Communications, 9(1), 2457. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-04930-1

We will go through this paper as an example of How to Read a GWAS.

Read Polderman, T. J., Benyamin, B., De Leeuw, C. A., Sullivan, P. F., Van Bochoven, A., Visscher, P. M., & Posthuma, D. (2015). Meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits based on fifty years of twin studies. Nature Genetics, 47(7), 702-709. student copy on compass

Read Churchhouse, C. & Neale, B. (2017 September 20). Rapid GWAS of thousands of phenotypes for 337,000 samples in the UK Biobank. http://www.nealelab.is/blog/2017/7/19/rapid-gwas-of-thousands-of-phenotypes-for-337000-samples-in-the-uk-biobank

Browse Atlas of GWAS Summary Statistics. https://atlas.ctglab.nl/

Slides Twin Studies

Lecture Notes How to Read a GWAS

Activity Citation Quickdraw

Teams compete to find a paper to answer a specific question. Report sample size and major finding. Largest & newest wins the point. Tie goes to most highly cited.

Assignment Due Draft Bibliography (submit via compass)

Week 5: Core Phenotypes

Read Team-specific papers (team assignments and shared google docs are posted on compass)

Bai, D., Yip, B. H. K., Windham, G. C., Sourander, A., Francis, R., Yoffe, R., ... & Gissler, M. (2019). Association of genetic and environmental factors with autism in a 5-country cohort. JAMA Psychiatry.

Grove, J., Ripke, S., Als, T. D., Mattheisen, M., Walters, R. K., Won, H., ... & Awashti, S. (2019). Identification of common genetic risk variants for autism spectrum disorder. Nature Genetics, 51(3), 431-444. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6454898/

Vorstman, J. A., Parr, J. R., Moreno-De-Luca, D., Anney, R. J., Nurnberger Jr, J. I., & Hallmayer, J. F. (2017). Autism genetics: opportunities and challenges for clinical translation. Nature Reviews Genetics, 18(6), 362-376. student copy on compass

Haworth, C. M., Wright, M. J., Luciano, M., Martin, N. G., de Geus, E. J., van Beijsterveldt, C. E., ... & Kovas, Y. (2010). The heritability of general cognitive ability increases linearly from childhood to young adulthood. Molecular Psychiatry, 15(11), 1112-1120. https://www.nature.com/articles/mp200955

Johnson, W. (2010). Understanding the genetics of intelligence: Can height help? Can corn oil?. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19(3), 177-182. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721410370136

Plomin, R., & von Stumm, S. (2018). The new genetics of intelligence. Nature Reviews Genetics, 19(3), 148-159. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5985927/

Trampush, J. W., Yang, M. L. Z., Yu, J., Knowles, E., Davies, G., Liewald, D. C., ... & Christoforou, A. (2017). GWAS meta-analysis reveals novel loci and genetic correlates for general cognitive function: a report from the COGENT consortium. Molecular Psychiatry, 22(3), 336-435. https://www.nature.com/articles/mp2016244

Kendler, K. S., & Prescott, C. A. (1999). A population-based twin study of lifetime major depression in men and women. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56(1), 39-44. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/204631

Smoller, J. W. (2016). The genetics of stress-related disorders: PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology, 41(1), 297-319. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4677147/

Wray, N. R., Ripke, S., Mattheisen, M., Trzaskowski, M., Byrne, E. M., Abdellaoui, A., ... & Bacanu, S. A. (2018). Genome-wide association analyses identify 44 risk variants and refine the genetic architecture of major depression. Nature Genetics, 50(5), 668-681. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934326/

Hancock, D. B., Markunas, C. A., Bierut, L. J., & Johnson, E. O. (2018). Human genetics of addiction: new insights and future directions. Current Psychiatry Reports, 20(2), 8. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11920-018-0873-3

Liu, M., Jiang, Y., Wedow, R., Li, Y., Brazel, D. M., Chen, F., ... & Zhan, X. (2019). Association studies of up to 1.2 million individuals yield new insights into the genetic etiology of tobacco and alcohol use. Nature Genetics, 51(2), 237-244. https://europepmc.org/articles/pmc6358542

Rhee, S. H., Hewitt, J. K., Young, S. E., Corley, R. P., Crowley, T. J., & Stallings, M. C. (2003). Genetic and environmental influences on substance initiation, use, and problem use in adolescents. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60(12), 1256-1264. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/208068

Silventoinen, K., Sammalisto, S., Perola, M., Boomsma, D. I., Cornes, B. K., Davis, C., ... & Luciano, M. (2003). Heritability of adult body height: a comparative study of twin cohorts in eight countries. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 6(5), 399-408.https://doi.org/10.1375/twin.6.5.399

Visscher, P. M., McEvoy, B., & Yang, J. (2010). From Galton to GWAS: quantitative genetics of human height. Genetics research, 92(5-6), 371-379. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0016672310000571

Wood, A. R., Esko, T., Yang, J., Vedantam, S., Pers, T. H., Gustafsson, S., ... & Amin, N. (2014). Defining the role of common variation in the genomic and biological architecture of adult human height. Nature Genetics, 46(11), 1173-1186. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4250049/

Hilker, R., Helenius, D., Fagerlund, B., Skytthe, A., Christensen, K., Werge, T. M., ... & Glenthøj, B. (2018). Heritability of schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum based on the nationwide Danish twin register. Biological Psychiatry, 83(6), 492-498. student copy on compass

Kavanagh, D. H., Tansey, K. E., O'Donovan, M. C., & Owen, M. J. (2015). Schizophrenia genetics: emerging themes for a complex disorder. Molecular Psychiatry, 20(1), 72-76. student copy on compass

Ripke, S., Neale, B. M., Corvin, A., Walters, J. T., Farh, K. H., Holmans, P. A., ... & Pers, T. H. (2014). Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature, 511(7510), 421-427. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature13595/

Activity Core Phenotypes jigsaw

Each team will read and complete article summaries of 3-5 papers addressing a commonly studied phenotype in behavior genetics, and prepare a blog post style summary. You will then rotate into mixed groups to share and compare findings across phenotypes.

Resource Empirical Article Summary template

Resource Review Article Summary template

Resource Topic Summary template

Resource Randy McCarthy's suggestions for self-editing your writing

Week 6: Do Genes Cause Behavior? I: Methods Teams 

Read Briley, D. A., Livengood, J., & Derringer, J. (2018). Behaviour genetic frameworks of causal reasoning for personality psychology. European Journal of Personality, 32(3), 202-220. http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/14550/

Read Methods team papers (team assignments are posted on compass)

Iuliano-Burns, S., Hopper, J., & Seeman, E. (2009). The age of puberty determines sexual dimorphism in bone structure: a male/female co-twin control study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 94(5), 1638-1643. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2008-1522

Andel, R., Crowe, M., Pedersen, N. L., Fratiglioni, L., Johansson, B., & Gatz, M. (2008). Physical exercise at midlife and risk of dementia three decades later: a population-based study of Swedish twins. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 63(1), 62-66. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/63.1.62

Verweij, K. J., Huizink, A. C., Agrawal, A., Martin, N. G., & Lynskey, M. T. (2013). Is the relationship between early-onset cannabis use and educational attainment causal or due to common liability?. Drug and alcohol dependence, 133(2), 580-586. student copy on compass

Sadler, M. E., Miller, C. J., Christensen, K., & McGue, M. (2011). Subjective wellbeing and longevity: a co-twin control study. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 14(3), 249-256. https://doi.org/10.1375/twin.14.3.249

Lyons, M. J., Bar, J. L., Kremen, W. S., Toomey, R., Eisen, S. A., Goldberg, J., ... & Tsuang, M. (2002). Nicotine and familial vulnerability to schizophrenia: A discordant twin study. Journal of abnormal psychology, 111(4), 687. student copy on compass

Guerreiro, R., Escott-Price, V., Darwent, L., Parkkinen, L., Ansorge, O., Hernandez, D. G., ... & van der Flier, W. (2016). Genome-wide analysis of genetic correlation in dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Neurobiology of aging, 38, 214-e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.10.028

Kong, A., Thorleifsson, G., Frigge, M. L., Vilhjalmsson, B. J., Young, A. I., Thorgeirsson, T. E., ... & Gudbjartsson, D. F. (2018). The nature of nurture: Effects of parental genotypes. Science, 359(6374), 424-428. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6374/424.abstract

Krueger, R. F., Hicks, B. M., Patrick, C. J., Carlson, S. R., Iacono, W. G., & McGue, M. (2002). Etiologic connections among substance dependence, antisocial behavior, and personality: modeling the externalizing spectrum. student copy on compass

Nagel, M., Jansen, P. R., Stringer, S., Watanabe, K., de Leeuw, C. A., Bryois, J., ... & White, T. (2018). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for neuroticism in 449,484 individuals identifies novel genetic loci and pathways. Nature genetics, 50(7), 920.

Nivard, M. G., Gage, S. H., Hottenga, J. J., Van Beijsterveldt, C. E., Abdellaoui, A., Bartels, M., ... & Munafò, M. R. (2017). Genetic overlap between schizophrenia and developmental psychopathology: longitudinal and multivariate polygenic risk prediction of common psychiatric traits during development. Schizophrenia bulletin, 43(6), 1197-1207. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbx031

Reynolds, C. A., Gatz, M., Christensen, K., Christiansen, L., Aslan, A. K. D., Kaprio, J., ... & Neiderhiser, J. M. (2016). Gene–environment interplay in physical, psychological, and cognitive domains in mid to late adulthood: Is APOE a variability gene?. Behavior genetics, 46(1), 4-19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-015-9761-3

Tucker-Drob, E. M., & Bates, T. C. (2016). Large cross-national differences in gene× socioeconomic status interaction on intelligence. Psychological science, 27(2), 138-149. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797615612727

Hicks, B. M., South, S. C., DiRago, A. C., Iacono, W. G., & McGue, M. (2009a). Environmental adversity and increasing genetic risk for externalizing disorders. Archives of general psychiatry, 66(6), 640-648. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/210243

Hicks, B. M., DiRago, A. C., Iacono, W. G., & McGue, M. (2009b). Gene–environment interplay in internalizing disorders: consistent findings across six environmental risk factors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(10), 1309-1317. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2009.02100.x

van Os, J., Pries, L. K., Delespaul, P., Kenis, G., Luykx, J. J., Lin, B. D., ... & Yalınçetin, B. (2019). Replicated evidence that endophenotypic expression of schizophrenia polygenic risk is greater in healthy siblings of patients compared to controls, suggesting gene–environment interaction. The EUGEI study. Psychological medicine, 1-14. student copy on compass

Mann, F. D., Shabalin, A. A., Docherty, A. R., & Krueger, R. F. (2019). Educational attainment, body mass index, and smoking initiation: Using genetic path analysis to control for pleiotropy in a Mendelian randomization study. bioRxiv, 650192. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/650192v3

Rasmussen, K. L., Tybjærg-Hansen, A., Nordestgaard, B. G., & Frikke-Schmidt, R. (2018). Plasma apolipoprotein E levels and risk of dementia: A Mendelian randomization study of 106,562 individuals. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 14(1), 71-80. student copy on compass

Nagel, M., Jansen, P. R., Stringer, S., Watanabe, K., de Leeuw, C. A., Bryois, J., ... & White, T. (2018). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for neuroticism in 449,484 individuals identifies novel genetic loci and pathways. Nature genetics, 50(7), 920. student copy on compass

Vaucher, J., Keating, B. J., Lasserre, A. M., Gan, W., Lyall, D. M., Ward, J., ... & Holmes, M. V. (2018). Cannabis use and risk of schizophrenia: a Mendelian randomization study. Molecular psychiatry, 23(5), 1287-1292. https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2016.252

Church, C., Lee, S., Bagg, E. A., McTaggart, J. S., Deacon, R., Gerken, T., ... & Schofield, C. J. (2009). A mouse model for the metabolic effects of the human fat mass and obesity associated FTO gene. PLoS genetics, 5(8), e1000599. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1000599

Raber, J., Wong, D., Buttini, M., Orth, M., Bellosta, S., Pitas, R. E., ... & Mucke, L. (1998). Isoform-specific effects of human apolipoprotein E on brain function revealed in ApoE knockout mice: increased susceptibility of females. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95(18), 10914-10919. https://www.pnas.org/content/95/18/10914.short

Merritt, J. R., & Rhodes, J. S. (2015). Mouse genetic differences in voluntary wheel running, adult hippocampal neurogenesis and learning on the multi-strain-adapted plus water maze. Behavioural brain research, 280, 62-71. student copy on compass

Pearish, S., Bensky, M. K., & Bell, A. M. (2019). Social environment determines the effect of boldness and activity on survival. Ethology. https://doi.org/10.1111/eth.12939

Santangelo, A. M., Ito, M., Shiba, Y., Clarke, H. F., Schut, E. H., Cockcroft, G., ... & Roberts, A. C. (2016). Novel primate model of serotonin transporter genetic polymorphisms associated with gene expression, anxiety and sensitivity to antidepressants. Neuropsychopharmacology, 41(9), 2366. https://www.nature.com/articles/npp201641

Sekar, A., Bialas, A. R., de Rivera, H., Davis, A., Hammond, T. R., Kamitaki, N., ... & Genovese, G. (2016). Schizophrenia risk from complex variation of complement component 4. Nature, 530(7589), 177. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4752392/

Yengo, L., Sidorenko, J., Kemper, K. E., Zheng, Z., Wood, A. R., Weedon, M. N., ... & GIANT Consortium. (2018). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for height and body mass index in∼ 700000 individuals of European ancestry. Human molecular genetics, 27(20), 3641-3649. https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy271

Reynolds, C. A., & Finkel, D. (2015). A meta-analysis of heritability of cognitive aging: minding the “missing heritability” gap. Neuropsychology review, 25(1), 97-112. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11065-015-9280-2

Nagel, M., Jansen, P. R., Stringer, S., Watanabe, K., de Leeuw, C. A., Bryois, J., ... & White, T. (2018). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for neuroticism in 449,484 individuals identifies novel genetic loci and pathways. Nature genetics, 50(7), 920. student copy on compass

Lee, S. H., DeCandia, T. R., Ripke, S., Yang, J., Sullivan, P. F., Goddard, M. E., ... & International Schizophrenia Consortium. (2012). Estimating the proportion of variation in susceptibility to schizophrenia captured by common SNPs. Nature genetics, 44(3), 247. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3327879/

Yengo, L., Sidorenko, J., Kemper, K. E., Zheng, Z., Wood, A. R., Weedon, M. N., ... & GIANT Consortium. (2018). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for height and body mass index in∼ 700000 individuals of European ancestry. Human molecular genetics, 27(20), 3641-3649. https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy271

Logue, M. W., Panizzon, M. S., Elman, J. A., Gillespie, N. A., Hatton, S. N., Gustavson, D. E., ... & Neale, M. C. (2019). Use of an Alzheimer’s disease polygenic risk score to identify mild cognitive impairment in adults in their 50s. Molecular psychiatry, 24(3), 421. student copy on compass

Kong, A., Thorleifsson, G., Frigge, M. L., Vilhjalmsson, B. J., Young, A. I., Thorgeirsson, T. E., ... & Gudbjartsson, D. F. (2018). The nature of nurture: Effects of parental genotypes. Science, 359(6374), 424-428. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6374/424.abstract

Linnér, R. K., Biroli, P., Kong, E., Meddens, S. F. W., Wedow, R., Fontana, M. A., ... & Okbay, A. (2018). Genome-wide study identifies 611 loci associated with risk tolerance and risky behaviors. BioRxiv, 261081. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/261081v2

Nagel, M., Jansen, P. R., Stringer, S., Watanabe, K., de Leeuw, C. A., Bryois, J., ... & White, T. (2018). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for neuroticism in 449,484 individuals identifies novel genetic loci and pathways. Nature genetics, 50(7), 920. student copy on compass

Activity Do Genes Cause Behavior? jigsaw

Each team will read several papers describing or applying a specific method that is intended to address causation. You will prepare a short summary of what questions the method can be used to answer, how it works, and limitations to what we can learn from it.

Resource Method Summary template

Week 7: Do Genes Cause Behavior? II: Phenotype Teams

Read Phenotype team papers (team assignments & shared google docs will be posted on compass)

Re-read your methods paper that was specifically about your phenotype. Skim your team's phenotype papers from across the other methods.

Church, C., Lee, S., Bagg, E. A., McTaggart, J. S., Deacon, R., Gerken, T., ... & Schofield, C. J. (2009). A mouse model for the metabolic effects of the human fat mass and obesity associated FTO gene. PLoS genetics, 5(8), e1000599. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1000599

Iuliano-Burns, S., Hopper, J., & Seeman, E. (2009). The age of puberty determines sexual dimorphism in bone structure: a male/female co-twin control study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 94(5), 1638-1643. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2008-1522

Mann, F. D., Shabalin, A. A., Docherty, A. R., & Krueger, R. F. (2019). Educational attainment, body mass index, and smoking initiation: Using genetic path analysis to control for pleiotropy in a Mendelian randomization study. bioRxiv, 650192. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/650192v3

Yengo, L., Sidorenko, J., Kemper, K. E., Zheng, Z., Wood, A. R., Weedon, M. N., ... & GIANT Consortium. (2018). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for height and body mass index in∼ 700000 individuals of European ancestry. Human molecular genetics, 27(20), 3641-3649. https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy271

Andel, R., Crowe, M., Pedersen, N. L., Fratiglioni, L., Johansson, B., & Gatz, M. (2008). Physical exercise at midlife and risk of dementia three decades later: a population-based study of Swedish twins. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 63(1), 62-66. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/63.1.62

Guerreiro, R., Escott-Price, V., Darwent, L., Parkkinen, L., Ansorge, O., Hernandez, D. G., ... & van der Flier, W. (2016). Genome-wide analysis of genetic correlation in dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Neurobiology of aging, 38, 214-e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.10.028

Logue, M. W., Panizzon, M. S., Elman, J. A., Gillespie, N. A., Hatton, S. N., Gustavson, D. E., ... & Neale, M. C. (2019). Use of an Alzheimer’s disease polygenic risk score to identify mild cognitive impairment in adults in their 50s. Molecular psychiatry, 24(3), 421. student copy on compass

Raber, J., Wong, D., Buttini, M., Orth, M., Bellosta, S., Pitas, R. E., ... & Mucke, L. (1998). Isoform-specific effects of human apolipoprotein E on brain function revealed in ApoE knockout mice: increased susceptibility of females. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95(18), 10914-10919. https://www.pnas.org/content/95/18/10914.short

Rasmussen, K. L., Tybjærg-Hansen, A., Nordestgaard, B. G., & Frikke-Schmidt, R. (2018). Plasma apolipoprotein E levels and risk of dementia: A Mendelian randomization study of 106,562 individuals. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 14(1), 71-80. student copy on compass

Reynolds, C. A., & Finkel, D. (2015). A meta-analysis of heritability of cognitive aging: minding the “missing heritability” gap. Neuropsychology review, 25(1), 97-112. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11065-015-9280-2

Reynolds, C. A., Gatz, M., Christensen, K., Christiansen, L., Aslan, A. K. D., Kaprio, J., ... & Neiderhiser, J. M. (2016). Gene–environment interplay in physical, psychological, and cognitive domains in mid to late adulthood: Is APOE a variability gene?. Behavior genetics, 46(1), 4-19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-015-9761-3

Kong, A., Thorleifsson, G., Frigge, M. L., Vilhjalmsson, B. J., Young, A. I., Thorgeirsson, T. E., ... & Gudbjartsson, D. F. (2018). The nature of nurture: Effects of parental genotypes. Science, 359(6374), 424-428. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6374/424.abstract

Mann, F. D., Shabalin, A. A., Docherty, A. R., & Krueger, R. F. (2019). Educational attainment, body mass index, and smoking initiation: Using genetic path analysis to control for pleiotropy in a Mendelian randomization study. bioRxiv, 650192. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/650192v3

Merritt, J. R., & Rhodes, J. S. (2015). Mouse genetic differences in voluntary wheel running, adult hippocampal neurogenesis and learning on the multi-strain-adapted plus water maze. Behavioural brain research, 280, 62-71. student copy on compass

Tucker-Drob, E. M., & Bates, T. C. (2016). Large cross-national differences in gene× socioeconomic status interaction on intelligence. Psychological science, 27(2), 138-149. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797615612727

Verweij, K. J., Huizink, A. C., Agrawal, A., Martin, N. G., & Lynskey, M. T. (2013). Is the relationship between early-onset cannabis use and educational attainment causal or due to common liability?. Drug and alcohol dependence, 133(2), 580-586. student copy on compass

Hicks, B. M., South, S. C., DiRago, A. C., Iacono, W. G., & McGue, M. (2009). Environmental adversity and increasing genetic risk for externalizing disorders. Archives of general psychiatry, 66(6), 640-648. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/210243

Krueger, R. F., Hicks, B. M., Patrick, C. J., Carlson, S. R., Iacono, W. G., & McGue, M. (2002). Etiologic connections among substance dependence, antisocial behavior, and personality: modeling the externalizing spectrum. student copy on compass

Linnér, R. K., Biroli, P., Kong, E., Meddens, S. F. W., Wedow, R., Fontana, M. A., ... & Okbay, A. (2018). Genome-wide study identifies 611 loci associated with risk tolerance and risky behaviors. BioRxiv, 261081. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/261081v2

Mann, F. D., Shabalin, A. A., Docherty, A. R., & Krueger, R. F. (2019). Educational attainment, body mass index, and smoking initiation: Using genetic path analysis to control for pleiotropy in a Mendelian randomization study. bioRxiv, 650192. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/650192v3

Pearish, S., Bensky, M. K., & Bell, A. M. (2019). Social environment determines the effect of boldness and activity on survival. Ethology. https://doi.org/10.1111/eth.12939

Verweij, K. J., Huizink, A. C., Agrawal, A., Martin, N. G., & Lynskey, M. T. (2013). Is the relationship between early-onset cannabis use and educational attainment causal or due to common liability?. Drug and alcohol dependence, 133(2), 580-586. student copy on compass

Hicks, B. M., DiRago, A. C., Iacono, W. G., & McGue, M. (2009). Gene–environment interplay in internalizing disorders: consistent findings across six environmental risk factors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(10), 1309-1317. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2009.02100.x

Nagel, M., Jansen, P. R., Stringer, S., Watanabe, K., de Leeuw, C. A., Bryois, J., ... & White, T. (2018). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for neuroticism in 449,484 individuals identifies novel genetic loci and pathways. Nature genetics, 50(7), 920. student copy on compass

Sadler, M. E., Miller, C. J., Christensen, K., & McGue, M. (2011). Subjective wellbeing and longevity: a co-twin control study. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 14(3), 249-256. https://doi.org/10.1375/twin.14.3.249

Santangelo, A. M., Ito, M., Shiba, Y., Clarke, H. F., Schut, E. H., Cockcroft, G., ... & Roberts, A. C. (2016). Novel primate model of serotonin transporter genetic polymorphisms associated with gene expression, anxiety and sensitivity to antidepressants. Neuropsychopharmacology, 41(9), 2366. https://www.nature.com/articles/npp201641

Lee, S. H., DeCandia, T. R., Ripke, S., Yang, J., Sullivan, P. F., Goddard, M. E., ... & International Schizophrenia Consortium. (2012). Estimating the proportion of variation in susceptibility to schizophrenia captured by common SNPs. Nature genetics, 44(3), 247. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3327879/

Lyons, M. J., Bar, J. L., Kremen, W. S., Toomey, R., Eisen, S. A., Goldberg, J., ... & Tsuang, M. (2002). Nicotine and familial vulnerability to schizophrenia: A discordant twin study. Journal of abnormal psychology, 111(4), 687. student copy on compass

Nivard, M. G., Gage, S. H., Hottenga, J. J., Van Beijsterveldt, C. E., Abdellaoui, A., Bartels, M., ... & Munafò, M. R. (2017). Genetic overlap between schizophrenia and developmental psychopathology: longitudinal and multivariate polygenic risk prediction of common psychiatric traits during development. Schizophrenia bulletin, 43(6), 1197-1207. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbx031

Sekar, A., Bialas, A. R., de Rivera, H., Davis, A., Hammond, T. R., Kamitaki, N., ... & Genovese, G. (2016). Schizophrenia risk from complex variation of complement component 4. Nature, 530(7589), 177. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4752392/

van Os, J., Pries, L. K., Delespaul, P., Kenis, G., Luykx, J. J., Lin, B. D., ... & Yalınçetin, B. (2019). Replicated evidence that endophenotypic expression of schizophrenia polygenic risk is greater in healthy siblings of patients compared to controls, suggesting gene–environment interaction. The EUGEI study. Psychological medicine, 1-14. student copy on compass

Vaucher, J., Keating, B. J., Lasserre, A. M., Gan, W., Lyall, D. M., Ward, J., ... & Holmes, M. V. (2018). Cannabis use and risk of schizophrenia: a Mendelian randomization study. Molecular psychiatry, 23(5), 1287-1292. https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2016.252

Activity Do Genes Cause Behavior? jigsaw

Each member will teach their team about their method, drawing from the paper about their method that focused on the team's phenotype. The team will prepare a blog post style summary of the phenotype, incorporating information from across methods.

Week 8: Article Summaries Workshop

Activity Attendance Option 1 (In-Person): come to class to ask questions about individual articles or just to work on your article summaries.

Activity Attendance Option 2 (Virtual): post a response to the daily prompt in the compass discussion forum before the end of the regular class time.

Assignment Due Article Summaries (submit via compass)

-- Spring Break --

Week 9: Science Communication

Prepare Find an example of popular press coverage (e.g. an online news article or blog post) of a behavior genetic research paper, and track down the original paper.

Be prepared to (1) compare the reporting in the popular press piece to the original research article, and (2) write your own short summary of the findings from the original paper. You can search general news feeds by topic, e.g. https://news.google.com/search?q=behavior+genetics. Anything that makes reference to (at least) one specific published paper will work, so that you can compare the reporting of the paper to the paper itself.

Activity Scicomm constructive criticism carousel

Activity Peer review of phenotype summaries (team assignments & shared google docs will be posted on compass)

Resource Peer Review template

Week 10: Draft Paper Workshop

Activity Attendance Option 1 (In-Person): come to class to work on your paper draft.

Activity Attendance Option 2 (Virtual): post a response to the daily prompt in the compass discussion forum before the end of the regular class time.

Week 11: Gattaca

Read Kirby, D. A. (2000). The new eugenics in cinema: Genetic determinism and gene therapy in "GATTACA". Science Fiction Studies, 27(2), 193-215. https://www.depauw.edu/sfs/essays/gattaca.htm

Activity Watch and discuss Gattaca (1997)

Assignment Due Draft Paper (submit via compass)

Week 12: Miscellaneous Phenotypes

Prepare Begin searching and skimming papers relevant to your team's phenotype.

Activity Miscellaneous Phenotypes jigsaw (team assignments & shared google docs will be posted on compass)

Each team will find 3-5 papers addressing a less frequently studied phenotype in behavior genetics, and prepare a blog post style summary. You will then rotate into mixed groups to share and compare findings across phenotypes.

Assignment Due Draft Digital Media Project (submit via compass)

Week 13: Digital Media Project Workshop

Activity In-class peer feedback on Draft Digital Media Projects

Activity Thursday Virtual Attendance: post a response to the prompt in the compass discussion forum before the end of the regular class time. Link to instructions (see response to README post in the Draft Digital Media Project forum; due Thursday 11/21 by 12:20 pm).

Assignment Due Paper Peer Reviews (submit via compass)

Week 14: Genetics at Trial

Read/Listen Hagerty, B. B. (2010 July 1). Can your genes make you murder?. On NPR Morning Edition. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128043329

Read Berryessa, C. M., Martinez-Martin, N. A., & Allyse, M. A. (2013). Ethical, legal and social issues surrounding research on genetic contributions to anti-social behavior. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(6), 605-610. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3850765/

Activity Genetics at Trial debate (shared google docs will be posted on compass)

Assignment Due Final Digital Media Project (submit via compass)

Week 15: Wrap-Up

Activity Five Big Ideas

Assignment Due Digital Media Project Peer Reviews (submit via survey)

Assignment Due Final Paper (due Friday May 15; submit via compass)

Resources

A substantial component of this course entails learning to use available resources. Resources will be added as they come up.

University Student Resources

Disability Services

http://www.disability.illinois.edu

The Disability Resources & Educational Services office is available to facilitate the removal of barriers and ensure reasonable accommodations. You can share your letter of accommodation with the instructor either in person or by email.

Emergencies or Personal Matters

https://odos.illinois.edu/community-of-care/student-assistance-center/

The Student Assistance Center is on the 3rd floor of the Turner Student Services Center, or contact them at helpdean@illinois.edu or 217-333-0050. A letter from the Dean of Students is required for exceptions to the syllabus.

If you need help with an urgent matter after hours (NOT a previous or anticipated absence from class), contact the Emergency Dean at 217-649-4129.

Writing and Research

Templates

Genetics