Science: Belling the Mice

Are psychological traits inherited? Dr. Calvin S. Hall, of Western Reserve University, believes that some are. In the current Journal of Heredity, he reports experiments to prove his point. His subjects: mice. The trait chosen for study: "audiogenic seizures," i.e., dying in convulsions when scared by a sudden noise.

Dr. Hall selected two strains of adolescent (35 days old) male mice. One strain was black, the other "dilute brown." Both had been inbred by brother-&-sister matings for many generations, thus making sure that the strains would differ widely in hereditary characteristics, while individual...

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