Nov. 19: Colloquium talk by Dr. Anu Realo from the University of Tartu (4-5pm, room TR-K1B74)

Architecture of Personality Traits: Chasing the Missing Heritability of Neuroticism.

Neuroticism – often defined as the general tendency to experience negative affects such as anger, disgust, fear, guilt, sadness, and embarrassment – is one of the most pervasive domains of different personality theories and scales. Behavioural genetics studies have shown that Neuroticism is substantially heritable with 40%–60% of the variance in Neuroticism scores being attributable to genetic factors. However, the search for common gene variants associated with Neuroticism has not been very successful. Even when such associations have been found, the polymorphisms seem to have very little predictive value. In this talk I will describe our efforts to address the „missing heritability“ problem of Neuroticism by using a relatively novel methodology for identifying gene variants in human populations called genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA; Yang et al., 2011). To complement the existing research, we examined the SNP-based heritability estimates not only at the general level of Neuroticism but also at the more specific level of the Neuroticism facets in two large population-based adult samples using both self- and informant-reports of Neuroticism.

More info on Dr. Realo’s work here.