The discovery of behavioural genes has raised the prospect that behaviour may be governed, in part, by the actions of mutant gene products on the brain. These are mostly enzymes or proteins involved in processes related to neurotransmission. In addition, numerous studies have demonstrated the effects of specific hormones on behaviour. Furthermore, the ability of intense emotions to stimulate or suppress the synthesis of a variety of hormones is well-documented. An incredibly murky picture of multi-directional interrelationships between behavioural genes, emotions and biochemical messengers is emerging, making it increasingly difficult to distinguish between causes and effects. This article seeks to highlight a number of unresolved issues in this intriguing area of behavioural endocrinology and examine the ramifications of behavioural gene discoveries.
Key word: Behavioural genes, emotions, biochemical messengers.
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