Office of Undergraduate Instruction

01:447:460 Genetics of Compulsive Behavior






Genetics 01:447:380 or Genetic Analysis I 01:447:384 and General Biology Lab 01:119:117 or 01:119:102

Course Description

Compulsive urge can be channeled toward productive endeavors such as a strong drive to succeed in competitions, schooling, and career. On the other hand, improper handling of compulsive urge may lead to problematic behaviors such as alcoholism, drug use, gambling, and other undesirable behaviors. There is evidence that genetics contribute to compulsive behavior in humans, and research in animal models has begun to unravel the molecular factors that underlie the genetic basis of compulsive behavior. This class will involve extensive class participation and discussion, and will examine scientific literature relating to the genetics of compulsive behavior. The focus will be on developing skills in critical thinking and effective writing, as well as critical evaluation of written materials.

Departmental Learning Goals:

Course URL


Course Satisfies Learning Goals

1. Knowledge specific goals: Know the terms, concepts and theories in genetics.          

2. Integrate the material from multiple courses and research. That is, to think holistically and to see the whole as well as the parts.                               

3. Develop critical thinking skills by studying primary research literature.                                                     

4. Develop scientific writing skills:

 •Communicate complex ideas effectively, in standard written English, to a general audience; 

 •Communicate  effectively in modes appropriate to genetics research: in-class presentation, questions and  answers  with course instructor and fellow students in the course;

 •Evaluate and critically assess sources and use the conventions of attribution and citation correctly: written summary of assigned reading;

 •Analyze and synthesize information and ideas from multiple sources to generate new insights: written critiques based on assigned reading, with an emphasis on generating one's own synthesis of the study topics.

 Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

• Research literature will be assigned for reading and critique writing;

• During the class, most time will be devoted to discussion of assigned reading and evaluation of student's writing;

 • 20% on-time attendance and class participation;

 • 80% written literature summary, peer review critique, and on-time submission of writing assignments.

Course Materials

Primary research literature – journal articles assigned by the instructor

Course Closed?

If this course is closed or you require a special permission number, please add your name to the wait list by using the following link: Wait List Sign Up for Spring 2017 Courses . If you have any questions or concerns, please  contact Kathleen McDonald in the Genetics Undergraduate Office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Dr. Lei Yu
Office: Smithers Hall Room 107
Phone: 848-445-0794
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.


Contact Us

Nelson Biological Laboratories

Nelson Biological Laboratories
604 Allison Rd
Piscataway, NJ 08854

p. (848) 445-2075
f.  (732) 445-5870