COGS178: Genes, Brains and Behavior (Spring 2017)

Course website:


Terry Jernigan (Professor)

Course Description

This course will describe the evidence for an association between small common differences in our genomes and differences in our attributes, or phenotypes – focusing on brain and behavioral phenotypes.  The course is a quick tour through the rapid advances made in the methods available for asking questions about genotype to phenotype mapping, and how the results obtained with these different methods are changing the way we think about this mapping and ourselves.


Course Details and Policies

Course Schedule

Week Date Topic Readings Assignments Notes
1 Tue Apr 04 Course Intro & Pretest

Thu Apr 06

Tutorial: Basic Genetics


2 Tue Apr 11 Tutorial: Basic Genetics

Thu Apr 13

Twin Methods and Twin Studies of Height and Brain Phenotypes


3 Tue Apr 18 Twin Methods and Twin Studies of Behavior   

Thu Apr 20 Twin Methods and Twin Studies of Behavior   

4 Tue Apr 25 Candidate Gene Studies of Behavior

Thu Apr 27 Genome Wide Association Studies and the “curse of dimensionality”

5 Tue May 02 GWAS of Height and Brain

Thu May 04 GWAS of Behavioral Phenotypes

6 Tue May 09


Thu May 11

Genome Wide Complex Trait Analysis

7 Tue May 16 GWCTA of height and brain

Thu May 18 GWCTA of behavioral phenotypes

8 Tue May 23 Constructing and Patterning the Brain

Thu May 25

Discussion: Twin studies in the era of GWAS


9 Tue May 30 Discussion:  Gene-Environment Interactions and Correlations

Thu Jun 01 Discussion:  Precision Medicine:  All of Us

10 Tue Jun 06 Discussion & Posttest: Precision Education:  No Child Left Behind

Thu Jun 08 Discussion, Review for Final, Posttest Feedback, Course Evaluation