Behavioral analyses of animal models of intellectual and developmental disabilities

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2019 Nov:165:107087. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2019.107087. Epub 2019 Sep 6.


Intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) are a common group of disorders that frequently share overlapping symptoms, including cognitive deficits, altered attention, seizures, impaired social interactions, and anxiety. The causes of these disorders are varied ranging from early prenatal/postnatal insults to genetic variants that either cause or are associated with an increased likelihood of an IDD. As many of the symptoms observed in individuals with IDDs are a manifestation of altered nervous system function resulting in altered behaviors, it should not be surprising that the field is very dependent upon in vivo model systems. This special issue of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory is focused on the methods and approaches that are being used to model and understand these disorders in mammals. While surveys by the Pew Foundation continue to find a high degree of confidence/trust in scientists by the public, several recent studies have documented issues with reproducibility in scientific publications. This special issue includes both primary research articles and review articles in which careful attention has been made to transparently report methods and use rigorous approaches to ensure reproducibility. Although there have been and will continue to be remarkable advances for treatment of subset of IDDs, it is clear that this field is still in its early stages. There is no doubt that the strategies being used to model IDDs will continue to evolve. We hope this special issue will support this evolution so that we can maintain the trust of the public and elected officials, and continue developing evidence-based approaches to new therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Introductory Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / etiology
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology*