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Mutagenesis

Breeding

Preliminary Assessments

Neuroendocrine

Learning and Memory

Psychostimulant Response

Circadian Rhythmicity

Vision and Eye

Contact

Center for Functional Genomics at Northwestern University

National Institutes of Health

Protocols

The Neurogenomics Project focuses on mutations affecting five phenotypic domains within neuroscience: Circadian Rhythmicity, Learning and Memory (fear conditioning), Visual Function, Neuroendocrine Function (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axes), Psychostimulant Response.

In addition, a set of tests that constitute a "preliminary assessment'' will provide supplemental information to aid in the interpretation of primary phenotypic data. These include assessments of growth, locomotion, hearing, and stress- or anxiety-related behavior.

Although these phenotypes cover broad domains of neuroscience, they are nevertheless interrelated. For example, circadian rhythms are regulated by the visual system and in turn regulate neuroendocrine hormones. Circadian Clock mutant mice have been recently shown to have a deficit in contextual fear conditioning, and Drosophila circadian mutants do not sensitize to cocaine. Emotionality, anxiety, and stress to novel environments influence both fear conditioning and responses to psychostimulants. Thus this set of five phenotypic screens is mutually reinforcing, and this synergy should aid significantly in interpreting mutant phenotypes more definitively. These five screens, which we refer to as our primary screens are then followed up with more extensive phenotypic analysis in "Follow-up Screens".