The most common psychiatric disorders are mood and anxiety related. However, the underlying mechanisms of these diseases are still largely unknown. This complicates the development of effective treatment and drugs.
The ability to recognize harmful situations and respond accurately is important for the survival of any animal. In order to respond to these situations the animal must be able to learn, remember, and alter its behavior.
Behavior of laboratory rodents is often studied in well-controlled, simple experiments, in an environment that is fundamentally different from the animal’s home cage.
To find out more about human and animal learning and memory, we might just have to go to sleep. Ahem – research on sleep, I mean.
Recently Lucas Noldus was interviewed for a technology feature in Nature; “Inside the minds of mice and men” by Monya Baker.