Overview of Behavioural Genetic Interactive Modules

Behavioural Genetic Interactive Modules , written by Shaun Purcell, are designed to accompany the appendix in the Behavioral Genetics text (Plomin et al, 2008). Each module consists of a textual tutorial and a downloadable Windows program. Taken together, the tutorials aim to guide the newcomer from the basics of descriptive statistics (e.g. calculating variance to describe sample characteristics) to multivariate model fitting on genetically informative data, with focus on the twin method. No special mathematical or genetic knowledge is assumed.

The first four modules introduce some of the basic statistical concepts used in behavioural genetic methods.

The next three modules focus on the biometrical model (e.g. variance due to additive effects of genes) and show how the model can help to quantify similarities we might observe between related individuals.

The next two modules introduce the model-fitting approach, in the context of the ACE twin model.

The remaining models focus on various extensions to the basic twin model: such as multivariate analysis and DeFries-Fulker extremes analysis.


Miscellaneous Behavioural Genetic Resources This section provides a useful base of on-line resources and further modules.
  • An introduction to Mx
  • Guide to basic genetic analysis in statistics packages such as Stata
  • Simulated datasets
  • Online twin dataset simulation
  • Introductory primer on maximum likelihood estimation
  • Linkage and linkage disequilibrium module
  • Online probability function calculator
  • Twin zygosity calculator



The key to the main contents page is as follows :

These are the on-line tutorials and other textual resources. Clicking on these will link to a web page that will describe how to use the module and explain some of the concepts involved.

These are the links to download the modules. The modules, written in Delphi, are designed to run on Windows machines. Clicking on the link should instruct your web-browser to begin downloading the program. If not, try pressing your right mouse button over the computer symbol as choose 'Save As...' or 'Save Target As...' (this will vary depending on the browser you are using). Clicking on the downloaded .exe should begin the module.

These are the links to on-line demonstrations - that is, these will not be downloaded onto your hard drive, but will run on your web-browser.

Each module has between 1 and 3 green diamond symbols to represent the difficulty of the module, the more involved modules having 3 diamonds. For beginners, therefore, it is advisable not to look at the more involved modules before reviewing the more basic modules.

All the modules can be downloaded in a single Zip file (v1.01), or can be individually downloaded from the main page.

Have fun!

Main Page

Site created by S.Purcell, last updated 20.05.2007