behavior

SNPwatch: We Care a Lot

December 12, 2011
The hormone oxytocin has garnered many names in the media, from the “cuddle chemical” to the “morality molecule,” and it’s clear that it impacts social bonding. A new study suggests that people with at least one A at – a SNP in the oxytocin receptor gene called OXTR – are readily perceived by others as being less empathetic than GG individuals.
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SNPWatch: Genetic Variation Influences How We Respond to Reinforcement

September 20, 2011
Genetics can influence everything from how we respond to different drugs to what techniques help us learn. One genetic variant in particular, located in a gene involved in detecting opioid chemicals like morphine, was previously linked to alcohol and heroin addiction as well as how we react to social rejection. Now a new study finds a connection between this same variant and how humans respond to positive reinforcement.
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