Both Environment and Genetic Makeup Influence Behavior

How do genes and the environment come together to shape animal behavior? Both play important roles. Genes capture the evolutionary responses of prior populations to selection on behavior. Environmental flexibility gives animals the opportunity to adjust to changes during their own lifetime.

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Early humans did not understand the mechanisms of inheritance, of DNA, or of the translation of genetic information into morphology, physiology, or behavior. But they intuitively understood that inheritance shapes behavior. By controlling mating, herds and flocks of animals useful to humans were domesticated. The resulting domesticated animals — cattle, horses, and dogs — behave very differently than their wild progenitors. Selective breeding was a key insight in human history, even if the underlying science was not understood until the Darwinian and Mendelian revolutions in the nineteenth century.

Today, we easily recognize that both genes and the environment influence behavior, and scientists studying behavior focus on the interaction between these two factors. Genes, via their influences on morphology and physiology, create a framework within which the environment acts to shape the behavior of an individual animal. The environment can affect morphological and physiological development; in turn behavior develops as a result of that animal’s shape and internal workings. Genes also create the scaffold for learning, memory, and cognition, remarkable mechanisms that allow animals to acquire and store information about their environment for use in shaping their behavior.

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S-ithole Information

I dont think, that we will ever be able to make an exact formula on the ratio between environment, social inheritance and genetic influence on our behavior. Not even when it comes to ethnic groups. Just look at the difference between Germanic Europeans and non-Germanic Europeans.

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  1. Pingback: Doublethink | VikingLifeBlog

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