Nature vs Nurture

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Nature vs Nurture

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Biomedical Sciences, Environmental Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Objective

    Students learn how individual differences in human complex behavior can be explained by differences between people in their genes, and in their environment.

    Course Content

    Humans vary in their behavior and in their propensity to disease. In the Nature vs. Nurture course, the influence of genes and of environmental factors on individual differences in human behavior will be discussed. The course starts with an historical overview of the nature-versus-nurture debate, and describes how twin- and family studies paved the way for current genetic research. The course specifically
    focuses on the rapid developments in the field of complex trait genetics, that allow researchers to search the entire genome for parts
    of the DNA that are predictive of human behavior and disease. We will discuss recent large-scale gene-finding studies and discuss how these translate to state-of-the-art neuroscience research, and how they inspire studies on personalized treatments in medical practice. In addition, ethical aspects of current genetic research will be discussed.

    Additional Information Teaching Methods

    Lectures, discussion groups, presentations.

    Method of Assessment

    The final grade of Nature vs. Nurture is based on weekly assignments, a group presentation on an ethical aspect of genetic research and a written exam. The course Nature vs. Nurture is successfully completed if both the exam grade and the final aggregate grade are 5.5 or higher.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.