Modern molecular genetic and genomic approaches are revolutionizing the study of behavior in the mouse. "Reverse genetics" (from gene to phenotype) with targeted gene transfer provides a powerful tool to dissect behavior and has been used successfully to study the effects of null mutations in genes implicated in the regulation of long-term potentiation and spatial learning in mice. In addition, "forward genetics" (from phenotype to gene) with high-efficiency mutagenesis in the mouse can uncover unknown genes and has been used to isolate a behavioral mutant of the circadian system. With the recent availability of high-density genetic maps and physical mapping resources, positional cloning of virtually any mutation is now feasible in the mouse. Together, these approaches permit a molecular analysis of both known and previously unknown genes regulating behavior.
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