Allison Knoll, Ph.D., assistant professor of research at the University of Southern California and Children's Hospital, Los Angeles, will speak on "Identifying Heritable Components of Cognitive & Social Behavior Using Recombinant Inbred Mice."
Humans exhibit broad heterogeneity in cognitive and social behavior, with the extremes of this continuum observed in many neurodevelopmental disorders. Twin and family studies show that individual differences in core dimensions of these behaviors are heritable, yet there are knowledge gaps in understanding the underlying genetic and neurobiological mechanisms.
Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in animal genetic reference panels (GRPs) is a tractable strategy for examining the behavioral and genetic architecture of complex traits. Here, using >50 recombinant inbred strains from a mouse GRP, we identified heritable variation in fear learning and affiliative sociability, which are independent of variation in activity and anxiety-like traits. Genome-wide mapping identified suggestive and significant QTLs for multiple traits and functional testing confirmed Hcn1 as a novel quantitative trait gene for fear learning.
These findings establish a basis for identifying gene networks underlying variation in complex behavior, leading to a new understanding of typical and atypical learning and sociability.
Wednesday, October 10 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm
DRC 1, 1005