[UCI-Calit2] UC4-HumanComplexity Multicampus Event this Friday

Shellie Nazarenus snaz at calit2.uci.edu
Tue Mar 3 11:10:28 PST 2009


*Friday University of California Multi-Campus Human Complexity Event*


Speaker:  James Fowler, UCSD, Political Science 



Discussion Topic:  "The genetic basis of human social networks"


Date:  Friday, March 6


Time:  1:30-3:00 pm


Locations:  1030 Anteater Instruction and Research Bldg. at UCI;

260 Galbraith Hall (CLICS) at UCSD; 285 Powell Library at UCLA

 (maps at: http://intersci.ss.uci.edu/wiki/index.php/Speaker )


Abstract: Social networks exhibit strikingly systematic patterns across
a wide range of human contexts. While genetic variation accounts for a
significant portion of the variation in many complex social behaviors,
the heritability of egocentric social network attributes is unknown.
Here we show that three of these attributes (in-degree, transitivity,
and centrality) are heritable. We then develop a "mirror network" method
to test extant network models and show that none accounts for observed
genetic variation in human social networks. We propose an alternative
"Attract and Introduce" model with two simple forms of heterogeneity
that generates significant heritability as well as other important
network features. We show that the model is well suited to real social
networks in humans. These results suggest that natural selection may
have played a role in the evolution of social networks. They also
suggest that modeling intrinsic variation in network attributes may be
important for understanding the way genes affect human behaviors and the
way these behaviors spread from person to person. 



Background: Past talks in the three-year series are at





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