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Behav Brain Res. 2001 Nov 1;125(1-2):127-32.

Genetic dissection of mouse exploratory behaviour.

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Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Room 111B, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 303 Belmont Street, Worcester, MA 01604, USA.


A large variety of apparatus and procedures are being employed to measure mouse exploratory behaviour. Definitions of what constitutes exploration also vary widely. The present article reviews two studies whose results permit a genetic dissection of behaviour displayed in an open-field situation. The results agree that factors representing exploration and stress/fear underlie this type of behaviour. Both factors appear to be linked to neuroanatomical variation in the sizes of the hippocampal intra- and infrapyramidal mossy fibre terminal fields. Multivariate analysis of genetic correlations may render important insights into the structure of behaviour and its relations with neuroanatomical and neurophysiological systems.

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