Could SA be gene driven?

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Thread: Could SA be gene driven?

  1. #1
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    Could SA be gene driven?

    If bad drivers are gene driven to not have the same focus to observe / learn / remember nuances, could that or a similar gene play a role in SA?

    Bad drivers? Blame their genes - Yahoo! News

    Thu Oct 29, 12:18 pm ET
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) No need to curse that bad driver weaving in and out of the lane in front of you -- he cannot help it, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

    They found that people with a particular gene variant performed more than 20 percent worse on a driving test than people with a different DNA sequence.

    The study may explain why there are so many bad drivers out there -- about 30 percent of Americans have the variant, the team at the University of California Irvine found.

    "These people make more errors from the get-go, and they forget more of what they learned after time away," Dr. Steven Cramer, who led the study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, said in a statement.

    Cramer and his team tested 29 people -- 22 without the gene variant and seven who had it -- asking them to drive 15 laps on a simulator and then repeat the task a week later.

    To their surprise, they found that those with the mutant gene did worse, consistently.

    The gene controls a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which affects memory.

    The team was not really looking for insights into driving but chose the driving test because it uses common skills.

    "I'd be curious to know the genetics of people who get into car crashes," Cramer said. "I wonder if the accident rate is higher for drivers with the variant."

    (Editing by Philip Barbara)
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    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    Situational awareness, like most human behavioral traits is probably partly genetic, partly environmental, and partly epigenetic.

    If you look at the combination of actions that make up a situationally aware individual, and the combination of proteins involved in formation of these actions, there are likely a large number of genes involved in SA and poor driving.
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    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    Interesting thought. Looking at my family it kinda holds up.
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    Genetic or environmental 'stupidity' is probably the name for the gene that everyone is looking for...

    I don't buy, for one moment, that the abiity to become much more situationally aware is gene driven. I'm a critic of those who constantly use the argument of 'research shows...' as research can pretty much be made to show or explain anything (figures lie, and liars figure)...I don't buy it.

    One makes choices about being aware of the surroundings, and the good or bad experiences one has can hurry or delay that process of checking environmental visual cues for possible danger.
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    What were they looking for?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    If bad drivers are gene driven to not have the same focus to observe / learn / remember nuances, could that or a similar gene play a role in SA?

    Bad drivers? Blame their genes - Yahoo! News
    From the article--"The team was not really looking for insights into driving but chose the driving test because it uses common skills."

    Interpreting the results correctly would depend in part on what characteristics they really were looking at, how well driving tested those, and a host of additional potential confounding issues.

    Unlike what is taught in HS Mendelian genetics and what happens in some 'medical genetics' situations such as Down's, complex functions often involve multiple sets of genes and alleles (variants) spread across several different chromosomes.

    That said, I do think there are genetic differences among those who are situationally aware and those who are not. If you have cared for small children, observed infants and toddlers, it is obvious that even newborns have distinct personalities.

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    Senior Member Array gilraen's Avatar
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    I think it entirely possible that genetics is a part of it. Maybe a big part of it.

    People are born with certain genetics that may make them better or worse at sports, better or worse at music, better or worse at hand/eye coordination, etc. Why would SA be different?

    I can see it in my sons. One is mild mannered, generally has his head in the clouds, and is not a good driver. The other has temper problems, but has great situational awareness and hand/eye coordination. I didn't raise them any differently.

    "One makes choices about being aware of the surroundings, and the good or bad experiences one has can hurry or delay that process of checking environmental visual cues for possible danger."
    Absolutely. But there is also a baseline from which one hurries, saunters, or delays. And the baseline is the genetics, and different in all of us.
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    When I wear my Wranglers,my SA is more acute,than when I wear my Faded Glorys
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    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Genetic or environmental 'stupidity' is probably the name for the gene that everyone is looking for...

    I don't buy, for one moment, that the abiity to become much more situationally aware is gene driven. I'm a critic of those who constantly use the argument of 'research shows...' as research can pretty much be made to show or explain anything (figures lie, and liars figure)...I don't buy it.

    One makes choices about being aware of the surroundings, and the good or bad experiences one has can hurry or delay that process of checking environmental visual cues for possible danger.
    OMOYMV
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    I can see it now.

    You have X gene in your DNA, your auto insurance will 200 dollars a month more.

    You have X gene in your DNA, you will not be hired for this job.

    You have X gene in your DNA, we will be watching you closely because you are a screw up.

    Yep...its coming.
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    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    When I wear my Wranglers,my SA is more acute,than when I wear my Faded Glorys
    You got me. My joke awareness was down and that one just hit my funny bone. Thanks, I needed a laugh today.

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