Category Archives: A-Z

P is for Polygenic Risk Scores

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Nearly all human traits, such as height, weight, and intelligence, and common disorders like major depressive and anxiety disorders are polygenic. This means that variation in more than one gene (usually many genes) contributes to total genetic predisposition for a specific trait or disorder. Chris outlines how Polygenic Risk Scores…

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N for Neuroticism

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Neuroticism is a personality trait characterised by easily experiencing negative emotions. This A-Z blog offers some highlights of what is currently known about the genetic and environmental influences on neuroticism, as well as its overlap with and relevance for psychiatric disorders.

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M for Missing Heritability

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Decades of twin studies have yielded evidence of the heritability of many different traits. What we mean by this is the proportion of variation in a trait that can be explained by genetic differences between individuals. Research has moved towards identifying specific genetic variants associated with these traits through Genome-Wide…

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L for Loneliness

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Human beings are social species. We naturally interact and bond with other people. According to evolutionary theory, loneliness has played an important role in the survival of humans because connecting with others increases one’s chances of living (Cacioppo, Hawkley, et al., 2006). Still today, it seems that we feel lonely…

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“J” for Jobs in Academia

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This week we continue our alphabetical A-Z series with a post on J for Jobs in Academia. Shivani and Michela [EDIT lab placement students] talk to academics from a range of different career levels based at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London. Representing the PhD/MSc Level (Meg Skelton), Post-Doctoral Research…

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I is for Individual Differences

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If we start this blog post with the statement that “people differ from each other”, you will probably snort with derision thinking of snowflakes and popular cheesy quotes about being unique like everyone else, but it is true. People do differ and in so many ways. This week Elena and…

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H is for Heritability

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Heritability is the proportion of variation in a given population that is due to genetic differences. If a trait is highly heritable, it is more likely to be shared between individuals of close genetic relatedness, regardless of whether they share the same environment. This concept can be difficult to wrap…

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F for Fear

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Fear is an emotional response vital for our survival. However, overwhelming fear can lead to excessive avoidance of situations that are not actually dangerous, causing distress and impairing daily functioning. Here, we give an overview of fear, explaining when it becomes pathological and how it can be studied experimentally.

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