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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Interval Timing and Genomics: What Makes Mutant Mice Tick?

  • Author(s): Meck, Warren H.
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License

Mice can be shown to process temporal information as if they use an internal stopwatch that can be run, stopped, and reset on command and whose speed of “ticking” is adjustable. In addition, interval-timing behavior can be separated into clock, memory, and decision stages of information processing such that one stage can be modified without changing the others. In order to demonstrate the efficacy of interval-timing procedures in the evaluation of behavioral phenotypes, proline transporter (PROT) deficient mice (+/+, +/-, and -/-) were assessed for motor control (Rotarod beam), spatial memory (Morris water-maze), and temporal generalization (peak-interval procedure) competency. The findings demonstrate that interval-timing procedures can be profitably integrated into a behavioral battery and used to selectively diagnose the psychological abnormalities associated with transgenic, knock-out, and knock-down mouse models of human diseases.

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