Analysing hippocampal function in transgenic mice: an ethological perspective

Trends Neurosci. 1999 Feb;22(2):47-51. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(98)01346-0.


Advances in molecular genetics and technology have led to the dawn of a new era for neuroscience: manipulation of single genes now makes it possible to dissect the complexities of neurobiological phenotypes and to understand many of the intricacies of brain and behaviour, even in mammals. The phenotypical analysis of these mutant animals is complicated because the potential outcome of gene manipulation is difficult to predict. While behavioural analysis should form an integral part of any multidisciplinary research programme investigating the phenotypical effects of single genes on hippocampal function, it is crucial that the behavioural tests are designed and conducted appropriately. Approaches that take species-specific behavioural characteristics into account and use ethological methods could be the most useful for interpreting these behavioural findings and understanding the biological mechanisms of brain function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Behavioral Sciences / methods*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic / physiology*