Ruthless behavior may be genetic

April 5, 2008

Israeli researchers said genetics may play a role in the behavior of selfish dictators.

A team at Hebrew University in Jerusalem said they found a link between a gene called AVPR1a and ruthless behavior by using an economic exercise called the "Dictator Game," in which players behave selflessly or like money-grabbing dictators, Nature News reported Thursday.

The research team said it is unclear how the gene influences behavior, but said it may be that for some the adage "it is better to give than to receive" simply isn't true.

AVPR1a is known to produce receptors in the brain that detect vasopressin, a hormone involved in altruism and "prosocial behavior," the report said.

The findings were published in the journal Genes, Brain and Behavior.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Brain cells that provide structural support also influence feeding behavior, study shows

Related Stories

Imaging technique maps serotonin activity in living brains

October 20, 2016

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that's partly responsible for feelings of happiness and for mood regulation in humans. This makes it a common target for antidepressants, which block serotonin from being reabsorbed by neurons ...

Recommended for you

Maternal blood test may predict birth complications

October 24, 2016

A protein found in the blood of pregnant women could be used to develop tests to determine the health of their babies and aid decisions on early elective deliveries, according to an early study led by Queen Mary University ...

Scientists find new genetic roots of schizophrenia

October 19, 2016

UCLA scientists have made a major advance in understanding the biology of schizophrenia. Using a recently developed technology for analyzing DNA, the scientists found dozens of genes and two major biological pathways that ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Apr 05, 2008
Wow, now that's research which just couldn't be done anywhere else.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.