Ruthless behavior may be genetic

Apr 05, 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: Diabetes discovery illuminates path to new drugs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

4 hours ago

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the ...

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

6 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

7 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

7 hours ago

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

Recommended for you

Researchers find new mechanism for neurodegeneration

Jul 24, 2014

A research team led by Jackson Laboratory Professor and Howard Hughes Investigator Susan Ackerman, Ph.D., have pinpointed a surprising mechanism behind neurodegeneration in mice, one that involves a defect in a key component ...

Schizophrenia's genetic architecture revealed (w/ Video)

Jul 23, 2014

Queensland scientists are closer to effective treatments for schizophrenia after uncovering dozens of sites across the human genome that are strongly associated with a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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