Modular genetic control of innate behaviors

Authors

  • Xiaohong Xu

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Neuroscience, Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai, P. R. China
    • Institute of Neuroscience, Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai, P. R. China
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Many complex behaviors are genetically hardwired. Based on previous findings on genetic control of mating and other behaviors in invertebrate and mammalian systems, I suggest that genetic control of complex behaviors is modular: first, dedicated genes specify different behavioral patterns; secondly, separable genetic networks govern distinct behavioral components. I speculate that modular genetic encoding of complex behaviors may in part reflect modularity in brain development and function.

Editor's suggested further reading in BioEssays From songs to synapses: Molecular mechanisms of birdsong memory Abstract

Ancillary