What genes and regulatory sequences contribute to the organization and functioning of neural circuits and molecular pathways in the brain that support social behavior? How does social experience interact with information in the genome to modulate brain activity? Here, we address these questions by highlighting progress that has been made in identifying and understanding two key "vectors of influence" that link genes, the brain, and social behavior: (i) Social information alters gene expression in the brain to influence behavior, and (ii) genetic variation influences brain function and social behavior. We also discuss how evolutionary changes in genomic elements influence social behavior and outline prospects for a systems biology of social behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)896-900
Number of pages5
Issue number5903
StatePublished - Nov 7 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Robinson, G. E., Fernald, R. D., & Clayton, D. F. (2008). Genes and social behavior. Science, 322(5903), 896-900. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1159277