Animal Models of Behavior Genetics
Publication Date: 2016-08-11
This stimulating analysis reviews the broad potential of animal models to foster a deeper understanding of human pathology, strengthen connections between genetic and behavioral studies, and develop more effective treatments for mental disorders. Widely-studied and lesser-used species are examined in models that capture features along the continuum of normative and pathological behavior. The models highlight genetic causes of core features, or endophenotypes, of developmental, internalizing, and externalizing disorders, as well as dementia. Expert contributors address questions ranging from how suitable species are chosen for study to the costs and benefits of using inbred versus outbred strains, and the effects of housing environment on subject animals. Larger issues addressed include how to evaluate the applicability of animal behavioral models to the human condition and how these models can harness emerging molecular technologies to further our understanding of the genetic basis of mental illness.