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Human neuroimaging studies suggest that aberrant neural connectivity underlies behavioural deficits in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but the molecular and neural circuit mechanisms underlying ASDs remain elusive. Here, we describe a complete knockout mouse model of the autism-associated Shank3 gene, with a deletion of exons 4-22 (Δe4-22). Both(More)
We examined the contribution of the nigrostriatal DA system to instrumental learning and behavior using optogenetics in awake, behaving mice. Using Cre-inducible channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in mice expressing Cre recombinase driven by the tyrosine hydroxylase promoter (Th-Cre), we tested whether selective stimulation of DA neurons in the substantia nigra pars(More)
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in the maintenance of task-relevant information during goal-directed behavior. Using a combination of lesions, local inactivation, and optogenetics, we investigated the functional role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in mice with a novel operant delayed alternation task. Task difficulty was manipulated(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the expansion of a poly-glutamine (poly-Q) stretch in the huntingtin (Htt) protein. Gain-of-function effects of mutant Htt have been extensively investigated as the major driver of neurodegeneration in HD. However, loss-of-function effects of poly-Q mutations recently emerged as potential(More)
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by mental retardation and impaired speech. Because patients with this disorder often exhibit motor tremor and stereotypical behaviors, which are associated with basal ganglia pathology, we hypothesized that AS is accompanied by abnormal functioning of the striatum, the input nucleus of(More)
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