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Common genetic effects on variation in impulsivity and activity in mice

Isles, Anthony Roger ORCID:, Humby, Trevor ORCID:, Walters, Eurof and Wilkinson, Lawrence Stephen ORCID: 2004. Common genetic effects on variation in impulsivity and activity in mice. Journal of Neuroscience 24 (30) , pp. 6733-6740. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1650-04.2004

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Impulsivity is a complex psychological construct that impacts on behavioral predispositions in the normal range and has been shown to have a genetic element through the examination of hereditary patterns of abnormal conditions such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. In this study, we took advantage of the isogenic nature of inbred strains of mice to determine the contribution of genes to impulsive behaviors by examining the performance of four separate mouse strains in a novel murine delayed-reinforcement paradigm, during which the animals had to choose between rewards that were relatively small but available immediately and larger but progressively delayed rewards. To control for maternal effects, all the mice were cross-fostered to a common strain immediately after birth. Under these conditions, we found significant differences between the strains on behaviors indexing impulsive choice and on independent measures of locomotor activity, which subsequent heritability analysis showed could be related, in part, to genetic effects. Moreover, the two aspects of behavior were found to co-vary, with the more active animals also displaying more impulsive behavior. This was not attributable to mundane confounds related to individual task requirements but instead indicated the existence of common genetic factors influencing variation in both impulsivity and locomotor activity. The data are discussed in terms of the coexistence of impulsivity and hyperactivity, interactions between environmental and genetic effects, and possible candidate genes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: impulsivity; activity; heritability; delayed reinforcement; mice; AD/HD
Additional Information: “Copyright of all material published in The Journal of Neuroscience remains with the authors. The authors grant the Society for Neuroscience an exclusive license to publish their work for the first 6 months. After 6 months the work becomes available to the public to copy, distribute, or display under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.(” See:
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 0270-6474
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 08:32

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