How to study ‘building blocks’ of behavior

Researchers at Vanderbilt have been able to alter mouse behavior by silencing gene expression in interneurons, distinct populations of nerve cells that are the main regulators of brain circuits.

Interneurons can be thought of as the “building blocks” to impact behavior. Researchers found that changing the expression of a gene in one interneuron population had the exact opposite molecular and behavioral effect compared to changing the same gene in another.


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