The aim of this article is to highlight the achievements of human behavioural
genetics. It begins with a brief overview of the field of contemporary human
behaviour genetics. Then, the general principles of behavioural genetics, research
methods used, the concept of heritability and areas of rapid advancement in the
field are identified. While classical twin studies have been a powerful tool to find
heritability or the genetic correlation between different human behaviours, new
tools are now available to help identify the genes responsible for individual differences.
In particular, association studies and DNA methylation studies are crucial
to advancing knowledge on the genetic basis of human behaviour as well as on the
epigenetic factors that mediate genetic and environmental effects on behaviour. Several
results on the heritability of human behaviour, relationships between genetic
polymorphisms and behaviour as well as the consequences of DNA methylation
are reported in this article.
Key words: behavioural genetics, DNA, genetic correlation, heritability, methylation