Friday, February 27, 2015

The Genetic Explanation of Shyness

There are times when we feel shy and don’t want to talk to other people. This is just normal. However, there are people who are shy since childhood. They seldom go out and mingle with other people.

The increasing number of people who seem to develop the attitude of shyness has pushed researchers to examine its scientific causes.

Recent studies revealed that chronic shyness has been linked to specific groups of genes, particularly the genes that are linked with anxiety. Here are a few issues that researchers found about the linkage between shyness and genes: 

1. Researchers are working hard to know and discover the actual genes that contribute to shyness using specific techniques. Before this, researchers focus more on the tendencies of persons to develop chronic shyness based on the behavioral patterns of other members of their family. 

2. Researchers are particularly focusing on the serotonin transporter gene (STG) in the development of chronic shyness. 

Serotonin is a type of neurotransmitter that is believed to be connected with positive feelings such as being happy or being contented.

Studies have shown that people who possess a truncated version of the STG would tend to develop such conditions as chronic shyness. If a person has a shorter version of STG, his body will produce less serotonin, which will affect his or her general predisposition and behavior.

3. Researchers are also trying to find out if people who have a truncated version of the DRD4 gene may develop chronic shyness. This gene has been found to be associated with adventurous behavior so people who have a shorter version of this gene may have lesser inclination to expose themselves to people or to try new things. Most often, people who have a truncated DRD4 gene may suffer from stress.

But even with these findings, researchers say that chronic shyness is not determined by genetics alone. It may have genetic roots but a person’s experiences in life and how he or she deals with other people also count a lot. Therefore a person who has developed chronic shyness still has a chance of overcoming this condition.


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