9.19J / 7.66J Cognitive & Behavioral Genetics

As taught in: Spring 2001

A collage of photos showing dozens of sets of identical and fraternal twins.

Pictures of identical and fraternal twins. Comparing is one method for ascertaining the effects of genes on development, intelligence, and personality. (Image courtesy of Prof. Steven Pinker.)


Undergraduate / Graduate


Prof. Elly Nedivi

Prof. Steven Pinker

Course Description

How genetics can add to our understanding of cognition, language, emotion, personality, and behavior. Use of gene mapping to estimate risk factors for psychological disorders and variation in behavioral and personality traits. Mendelian genetics, genetic mapping techniques, and statistical analysis of large populations and their application to particular studies in behavioral genetics. Topics also include environmental influence on genetic programs, evolutionary genetics, and the larger scientific, social, ethical, and philosophical implications.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.