Is there a genomically imprinted social brain?

Bioessays. 2011 Sep;33(9):662-8. doi: 10.1002/bies.201100060. Epub 2011 Aug 1.


Imprinted genes (IGs) are expressed or silenced according to their parent-of-origin. These genes are known to play a role in regulating offspring growth, development and infant behaviors such as suckling and ultrasonic calls. In adults, neurally expressed IGs coordinate several behaviors including maternal care, sex, feeding, emotionality, and cognition. However, despite evidence from human psychiatric disorders and evolutionary theory that maternally and paternally expressed genes should also regulate social behavior, little empirical data from mouse research exists. This paper discusses data from a recent study (Garfield et al., 2011) that the IG Grb10 governs unique aspects of mouse social behavior and interprets the relevance of these findings for the future of this field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Biological Evolution
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • GRB10 Adaptor Protein / genetics
  • GRB10 Adaptor Protein / physiology*
  • Genomic Imprinting*
  • Mice
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Social Behavior*


  • GRB10 Adaptor Protein