Genes, brain, and behavior: Bridging disciplines
With excitement surrounding the publication of the human genome, scientists have set out to uncover the functions of specific genes. This special issue on Genes, Brain, and Behavior attempts to present research strategies that connect major avenues of genetic research across disciplines. For example, anatomical information provided by brain imaging can serve as a convenient link between anatomical abnormalities seen in knockout/transgenic mouse models and abnormal patterns of brain activity seen in certain patient populations. Identifying genetic risk factors for disorders with carefully designed cognitive assays is another strategy that has gained increasing attention. These approaches are being combined with behavioral studies of mouse models of gene function. Alone, each of these approaches provides limited information on gene function in complex human behavior, but together, they are forming bridges between animal models and human psychiatric disorders.