The historical origins of classical laboratory mouse strains have led to a relatively limited range of genetic and phenotypic variation, particularly for the study of behavior. Many recent efforts have resulted in improved diversity and precision of mouse genetic resources for behavioral research, including the Collaborative Cross and Diversity Outcross population. These two populations, derived from an eight way cross of common and wild-derived strains, have high precision and allelic diversity. Behavioral variation in the population is expanded, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Variation that had once been canalized among the various inbred lines has been made amenable to genetic dissection. The genetic attributes of these complementary populations, along with advances in genetic and genomic technologies, makes a systems genetic analyses of behavior more readily tractable, enabling discovery of a greater range of neurobiological phenomena underlying behavioral variation.