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Animal studies/behavioral genetics/Munafò: [animal studies] offer several attributes useful in genetic research, including short gestation, early puberty and large litters, as well as a greater degree of experimental control, by means of directed mating and environmental control, all of which are valuable when attempting to map the genetic architecture of these traits (Willis-Owen and Flint 2007)(1).
The basic experimental design is the analysis of association between genotypic and phenotypic variation in a cross between two inbred strains of rodents (usually, but not necessarily, with contrasting temperament phenotypes).
Molecular genetic markers are then used to determine which chromosomal segments segregate with the trait (that is, which chromosomal regions are shared by animals that are phenotypically similar for the trait of interest). Over the past ten years, QTL (quantitative trait loci) putatively related to temperament have been identified on a number of chromosomes, although the molecular nature of these remains unclear.
1.Willis-Owen, S. A. and Flint, J. 2007. Identifying the genetic determinants of emotionality in humans; insights from rodents, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 31: 115–24
Marcus R. Munafò,“Behavioural genetics: from variance to DNA“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.)2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Philip J. Corr
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009