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Trends Neurosci. 2005 Jan;28(1):44-50.

Dissecting neural circuitry by combining genetics and pharmacology.

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Department of Clinical Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 364, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


In systems neuroscience, advances often come from lesioning and reversible inhibition of brain regions. Dissecting the circuitry of regions involves conceptually the same approach - stop a class of cell from firing action potentials, or make the cells fire more, then deduce how these components influence the performance of the circuit and animal behaviour. To perform such cell-type-specific and reversible fine-scale analysis of circuitry, and to do so on the fast signalling timescale of the brain (milliseconds to seconds), is challenging in mammals. Ingenious and diverse methods are being developed towards this goal. These new tools will encourage further synergy between molecular biologists, systems neuroscientists and electrophysiologists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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