Behaviour Genetics

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Behaviour Genetics

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Genetics, Psychobiology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    6
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    3
  • Overview

    Period 1

    Level: 300

    COURSE OBJECTIVE
    The aim of this course is to introduce students to behavior genetics as applied to psychological variables. The students will learn what questions behavior genetics addresses, and how these questions are answered using the classical twin design, and some extensions of this design. The course includes practicals in which you will analyze real and simulated twin data using the R library OpenMx.

    COURSE CONTENT
    This course will include explanation of the following:
    1) The biometric model, underlying the twin and family designs which are used to infer the role of genetic and environmental effects from family resemblance).
    2) Univariate and multivariate modeling of twin data using OpenMx (an R library) in the programming environment R
    3) The meaning of gene-environment interplay (genotype X environment interaction, and genotype -environment correlation) and to model these in the classical twin design.
    4) Detailed discussions of applied papers and papers concerns the statistical background of the twin design.

    TEACHING METHODS
    Lectures and computer practicals

    TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
    A exam consisting of open and multiple choice questions and take-home computer assignments which are based directly on the computer practicals.

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Please note: this course includes a statistical component. You are expected to have a basic practical understand of correlation, linear regression and basic descriptive statistics, such as means, variance, standard deviation. Some experience in the use of statistical programs like SPSS is useful. Knowledge of R is an advantage. However, the practicals include explanation of R (using the R studio interface).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.