Personality Genetics

Jonathan Benjamin, Richard P. Ebstein, R. H. Belmaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Although 30-60% of the variance in many personality traits is inherited, until recently little was known about the responsible genes. Preliminary studies of family history in bipolar disorder and of X-linkage of personality traits in color-blindness suggested a "quantitative trait locus" (QTL) approach to the genetics of normal personality. In methodically similar but independent studies of 124 Israeli and 315 American normal volunteers we showed an association between the dopamine D4 receptor gene (D4DR) and the personality trait of novelty seeking. In the Israeli sample we also found an interaction between the D4DR gene and the serotonin 2C receptor gene (5-HT2C) with a marked effect on the trait of reward dependence. Further investigation of genes for personality traits may suggest links between normal personality and psychiatric illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-280
Number of pages11
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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