Discovery of genes involved with learning and memory: an experimental synthesis of Hirschian and Benzerian perspectives

Tully, T. (November 1996) Discovery of genes involved with learning and memory: an experimental synthesis of Hirschian and Benzerian perspectives. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 93 (24). pp. 13460-7. ISSN 0027-8424

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The biological bases of learning and memory are being revealed today with a wide array of molecular approaches, most of which entail the analysis of dysfunction produced by gene disruptions. This perspective derives both from early "genetic dissections" of learning in mutant Drosophila by Seymour Benzer and colleagues and from earlier behavior-genetic analyses of learning and in Diptera by Jerry Hirsh and coworkers. Three quantitative-genetic insights derived from these latter studies serve as guiding principles for the former. First, interacting polygenes underlie complex traits. Consequently, learning/memory defects associated with single-gene mutants can be quantified accurately only in equilibrated, heterogeneous genetic backgrounds. Second, complex behavioral responses will be composed of genetically distinct functional components. Thus, genetic dissection of complex traits into specific biobehavioral properties is likely. Finally, disruptions of genes involved with learning/memory are likely to have pleiotropic effects. As a result, task-relevant sensorimotor responses required for normal learning must be assessed carefully to interpret performance in learning/memory experiments. In addition, more specific conclusions will be obtained from reverse-genetic experiments, in which gene disruptions are restricted in time and/or space.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals Animals, Genetically Modified Conditioning, Classical Diptera Drosophila Genes Learning/ physiology Learning Disorders/genetics Memory/ physiology Memory Disorders/genetics Rats Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Subjects: organism description > animal > insect > Drosophila
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > genes, structure and function > genes: types
organism description > animal behavior > learning
organism description > animal behavior > memory
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Tully lab
Depositing User: Kathleen Darby
Date: 26 November 1996
Date Deposited: 13 May 2014 14:48
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2019 17:02
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