The question of whether our behavior is shaped by our genes or by our environment has been a contentious issue for hundreds of years.
Duke researchers who examine this “nature vs. nurture” debate come from a variety of disciplines: biology, psychiatry, public policy, evolutionary anthropology, and bioethics. Researchers have used longitudinal and twin studies to gain insight into the connections between experiences in early childhood, success as adults, and behavior problems like criminality. Faculty examine the genetic, biological, neurobiological, and evolutionary explanations of human psychology and behavior, ranging from personality to political orientation. Faculty also use genomic approaches to understanding behavior through the study of highly social populations of nonhuman primates, like baboons and rhesus macaques. Another area of focus is the ethics of enhancement of normal human cognition.
- Allen Buchanan, PhD (Philosophy, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, & History of Medicine)
- Evan Charney, PhD (Public Policy, Political Science, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences)
- Ken Dodge, PhD (Center for Child and Family Policy, Public Policy, Psychology and Neuroscience)
- Christine Drea, PhD (Biology)
- Ahmad Hariri, PhD (Psychology and Neuroscience)
- Pate Skene, PhD (Neurobiology)
- Jenny Tung, PhD (Evolutionary Anthropology, Population Research Institute, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences)
- Policy Choice as Value Conflict, Ethics and Policy-Making (Ethics, Public Policy)
- Science, Ethics, and Democracy (Ethics)