Laura A. Baker

Professor, Department of Psychology
Director, Southern California Twin Project

Laura A. Baker

Research Topics

  • Behavioral genetics
  • Childhood aggression
  • Antisocial behavior

Research Images

Twin boysMother and TwinsPsychophysiology Recording in TwinsBaker Lab at Annual Meeting of the Behavior Genetics Association in Hollywood, July 2005

Research Overview

My research involves genetic and environmental bases of human behavior. I study how genes and environment produce individual differences in both cognitive and personality variables, as well as antisocial behavior during both childhood and adulthood.

My current research is focussed on genetic and environmental factors in childhood aggression and antisocial behavior. I am in the midst of conducting a large-scale twin study in this area (funded by NIMH), in which we are investigating biological risk factors (primarily psychophysiological measures, including ERPs, startle-blink responses, and autonomic arousal) for antisocial behavior , as well as social risk factors (including family and peer characteristics). My aim is to understand how genes and environment mediate the pathways between risk factors and antisocial outcomes.

Contact Information

Mailing Address University of Southern California
Psychology Department
SGM 501
Los Angeles CA 90089-1061
Office Location SGM 623
Office Phone (213) 740-2261
Lab Location SGM 619, 622
Lab Phone (213) 740-2259
Fax (213) 746-9082
Office Location SGM 623



  • Ph.D., University of Colorado, 1983.
  • M.A., University of Colorado, 1982.
  • B.A., University of Kansas, 1978.

Selected Publications

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  • Baker, L., Tuvblad, C., Reynolds, C., Zheng, M. & Raine, A.  (2009).  Resting heart rate and the development of antisocial behavior from age 9-14:  Genes and environment. Development and Psychopathology, 21: 939-960.   PubMed
  • Tuvblad, C., Raine, A., & Baker, L.A. (2009). Stability of reactive and proactive aggression in twins from childhood to adolescence. Aggressive Behavior (in press).
  • Gao, Y., Tuvblad, C., Baker, L.A., Lozano, D.I., & Raine, A. (2009). Genetic and environmental influences frontal EEG asymmetry and alpha power in 9-10 year old twins: Psychophysiology, 46(4): 787 - 796. PubMed
  • Isen, J. D., Baker, L.A. & Raine A., Bezdjian, S.  (2009).  Genetic and environmental influences on the Junior temperament and Character Inventory in a preadolescent twin sample. Behavior Genetics 39: 36 – 47. PubMed
  • Gao, Y., Baker, L.A., Raine, A., Wu, H. &.Bezdjian, S. (2009).  Brief report:  Interaction between social class and risky decision-making in children with psychopathic tendencies.  Journal of Adolescence, 32(2): 409–414. PubMed
  • Baker LA, Raine A, Liu J, Jacobson KC. (2008) Differential genetic and environmental influences on reactive and proactive aggression in children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 36:1265 – 1278. PubMed
  • Baker LA, Jacobson KC, Raine A, Lozano DI, Bezdjian S. (2007). Genetic and environmental bases of childhood antisocial behavior: A multi-informant twin study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 116(2): 219-235. PubMed
  • Zumberge A, Baker LA, Manis FR. (2007) Focus on words: a twin study of reading and inattention. Behav Genet. 37(2):284-293. PubMed
  • Baker LA, Barton M, Lozano DI, Raine A, Fowler JH. (2006) The Southern California Twin Register at the University of SouthernCalifornia: II. Twin Res Hum Genet. 9(6):933-940. PubMed
  • Baker, L.A., Bezdjian, S., & Raine, A. (2006). Behavioral Genetics: The Science of Antisocial Behavior. Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems. 69(1-2): 7-46. PubMed
  • Abrahamson, A.C., Baker, L.A., & Caspi, A. (2002). Rebellious teens? Familial influences on the social attitudes of adolescents. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 83(6):1392-408. PubMed
  • Baker, L.A. (2006). Methods for understanding genetic and environmental influences in normal and abnormal personality. In Strack, S. (Ed.) Differentiating Normal and Abnormal Personality-Second Edition.
  • Raine, A., Baker, L.A., & Liu, J. (2006). Biological risk factors for antisocial and criminal behavior. In A. Raine (ed). Crime and schizophrenia: Causes and cures. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Baker, L.A., Barton, M., & Raine, A. (2002). The Southern California Twin Register at USC. Twin Research. 5(5):456-9. PubMed
  • Posner S, Baker LA. (2000) Evaluation and extensions of a structural equation modeling approach to the analysis of survival data. Behavior Genetics 30:41-50.