Consilience and Life History Theory: From genes to brain to reproductive strategy

Aurelio José Figueredo, Geneva Vásquez, Barbara H. Brumbach, Stephanie M.R. Schneider, Jon A. Sefcek, Ilanit R. Tal, Dawn Hill, Christopher J. Wenner, W. Jake Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

467 Scopus citations


We describe an integrated theory of individual differences that traces the behavioral development of life history from genes to brain to reproductive strategy. We provide evidence that a single common factor, the K-Factor, underpins a variety of life-history parameters, including an assortment of sexual, reproductive, parental, familial, and social behaviors. We explore the psychometrics and behavioral genetics of the K-Factor and offer a speculative account of the proximate mediation of this adaptive patterning of behavior as instantiated in well-established functions of specific areas of the human brain, including the frontal lobes, amygdala, and hippocampus. We then apply Life History Theory to predict patterns of development within the brain that are paedomorphic (i.e., development begins later, proceeds at a slower rate, and has an earlier cessation) and peramorphic (i.e., development begins early, proceeds at a faster rate, and has a later cessation).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-275
Number of pages33
JournalDevelopmental Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Brain development
  • Consilience
  • Heterochrony
  • Life History Theory
  • Reproductive strategy
  • Social deviance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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