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What Do We Really Know About Mouse Behavior?
Classical and New Approaches for Phenotyping Transgenic and Knockout Mice

New Orleans, LA
October 29, 1997

Lucinda Miner, Ph.D.

Summary of Meeting:

Intent: This symposium presented an overview of behavioral paradigms appropriate for analyzing mouse phenotypes. Given the rapid advances in the development of transgenic and knockout mice, chemical mutagenesis and quantitative trait loci analyses, this meeting was very timely in educating the participants about the field of behavioral neuroscience. Professor van Oortmerssen, University of Groningen, presented the ethogram of normal mouse behaviors in naturalistic environments, including social, aggressive, nesting and circadian behaviors. Dr. Wehner, University of Colorado, discussed mouse strain differences on learning and memory tasks. Dr. Cunningham, Oregon Health Sciences University, discussed the differences between mouse and rat behaviors and approaches for adapting rat paradigms for mice, with a particular focus on substance abuse. Finally, Dr. Crawley, National Institute on Mental Health, presented specific methods for behavioral phenotyping of transgenic and knockout mice and detailed paradigms relevant to neuropsychiatric disorders.

Outcome: The meeting was held at the New Orleans Mariott Hotel, October 29, 1997. Greater than 400 people attended. Attendees were provided with abstracts of each presentation as well as a list of references compiled by each speaker detailing important articles relevant to each presentation. Information from the meeting and references are currently being compiled and will be made available through the Genetics Workgroup's web page. Given the great interest in the event, another satellite symposium is being planned for the 1998 Society for Neuroscience meeting, tentatively titled, Advances in Mouse Genetics.

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