Applying gene regulatory network logic to the evolution of social behavior [Neuroscience]
Animal behavior is ultimately the product of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) for brain development and neural networks for brain function. The GRN approach has advanced the fields of genomics and development, and we identify organizational similarities between networks of genes that build the brain and networks of neurons that encode brain function. In this perspective, we engage the analogy between developmental networks and neural networks, exploring the advantages of using GRN logic to study behavior. Applying the GRN approach to the brain and behavior provides a quantitative and manipulative framework for discovery. We illustrate features of this framework using the example of social behavior and the neural circuitry of aggression.
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