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How do we become individuals? This free course, The making of individual differences, looks at how genes and the environment interact making each of us unique. Looking at the period between conception and birth you will examine the issues of nature or nurture to see which has the greatest impact.
After studying this course you should be able to:
- recognise definitions and applications of each of the terms printed in bold in the text;
- critically evaluate statements about the influence of the genome on behaviour;
- explain the ways in which genetic and environmental factors influence the development of the nervous system;
- provide examples of the influence of genetic and environmental factors on the development of the nervous system and behaviour;
- discuss possible flaws and short comings in experiments designed to examine the roles of genes and environment in the development of behaviour;
- explain why different genetic diseases have different outcomes;
- recognise the significance of experiments similar to those described;
- explain the role and control of transcription factors;
- recognise the importance and discuss some aspects of the control of axon growth.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Individual differences
- 2 Growth and development: the big picture
- 3 The unique phenotype
- 4 Confounded variables: sensitive skin
- 5 Mechanisms
- 6 Axon guidance
- 7 Survival and death
- 8 Genes become you
- 9 Genes and their influence on behaviour revisited
- 10 Course summary
- End of course questions
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
The making of individual differences
This free course examines issue of nature and nurture, how genes and the environment interact in the development of the nervous system to make each of us unique. In particular it looks at the period from conception to birth. It is a topic that should be of wide interest to many.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract relevant to The Open University course SD226 Biological psychology: exploring the brain which is no longer taught by the University. If you want to study formally with us then you may like to explore other courses we offer in this.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Biology courses or view the range of currently available OU Biology courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 31st May 2011
Last updated on: Wednesday, 9th September 2015
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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