Model of genetic variation in human social networks

James H. Fowler, Christopher Dawes, Nicholas A. Christakis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Social networks exhibit strikingly systematic patterns across a wide range of human contexts. Although 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 3 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 account 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 and 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.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1720-1724
    Number of pages5
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Volume106
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Feb 10 2009

    Fingerprint

    Social Support
    Social Behavior
    Genetic Selection
    Genes

    Keywords

    • Evolution of cooperation
    • Heritability
    • Twins

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General

    Cite this

    Model of genetic variation in human social networks. / Fowler, James H.; Dawes, Christopher; Christakis, Nicholas A.

    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 106, No. 6, 10.02.2009, p. 1720-1724.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Fowler, James H. ; Dawes, Christopher ; Christakis, Nicholas A. / Model of genetic variation in human social networks. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2009 ; Vol. 106, No. 6. pp. 1720-1724.
    @article{fd14cbae862a4167b9fd9b9f55687c08,
    title = "Model of genetic variation in human social networks",
    abstract = "Social networks exhibit strikingly systematic patterns across a wide range of human contexts. Although 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 3 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 account 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 and 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.",
    keywords = "Evolution of cooperation, Heritability, Twins",
    author = "Fowler, {James H.} and Christopher Dawes and Christakis, {Nicholas A.}",
    year = "2009",
    month = "2",
    day = "10",
    doi = "10.1073/pnas.0806746106",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "106",
    pages = "1720--1724",
    journal = "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America",
    issn = "0027-8424",
    number = "6",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Model of genetic variation in human social networks

    AU - Fowler, James H.

    AU - Dawes, Christopher

    AU - Christakis, Nicholas A.

    PY - 2009/2/10

    Y1 - 2009/2/10

    N2 - Social networks exhibit strikingly systematic patterns across a wide range of human contexts. Although 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 3 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 account 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 and 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.

    AB - Social networks exhibit strikingly systematic patterns across a wide range of human contexts. Although 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 3 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 account 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 and 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.

    KW - Evolution of cooperation

    KW - Heritability

    KW - Twins

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=60549101053&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=60549101053&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1073/pnas.0806746106

    DO - 10.1073/pnas.0806746106

    M3 - Article

    VL - 106

    SP - 1720

    EP - 1724

    JO - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

    JF - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

    SN - 0027-8424

    IS - 6

    ER -