Search form

Home > News > Common Underlying Genetic Basis for Social Behavior in Dogs & Humans

Common Underlying Genetic Basis for Social Behavior in Dogs & Humans

July 20th, 2017

 

Dogs’ ability to communicate and interact with humans is one the most astonishing differences between them and their wild cousins, wolves. A new study published today in the journal Science Advances identifies genetic changes that are linked to dogs’ human-directed social behaviors and suggests there is a common underlying genetic basis for hyper-social behavior in both dogs and humans.

“It was the remarkable similarity between the behavioral presentation of Williams-Beuren syndrome and the friendliness of domesticated dogs that suggested to us that there may be similarities in the genetic architecture of the two phenotypes,” said Bridgett vonHoldt, an assistant professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton and the study’s lead co-author.VonHoldt had identified the canine analog of the WBSCR in her publication in Nature in 2010. But it was Emily Shuldiner, a 2016 Princeton alumna and the study’s other lead co-author, who, as part of her senior thesis, pinpointed the commonalities in the genetic architecture of Williams-Beuren syndrome and canine tameness.

You can read more about this story here.

© 2017 The Trustees of Princeton University. Back to Top
The Office of Undergraduate Research resides within the Office of the Dean of the College

Contact Us | Calendar | Website Feedback

Back to Top