Genetics of Behaviour
This page is maintained as a historical record and is no longer being updated.
Archive Page – this page is maintained as a historical record and is no longer being updated. Darren Logan was at the Sanger Institute from 2010 to June 2016 when he left to join Mars Incorporated to lead their basic research programmes into sensory mechanisms and feeding behaviour at the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition. This page was last edited in 2016.
The Genetics of Behaviour laboratory used mice as a model system to identify the genes and neural circuits that underpin social and learned behaviours, perception and cognition.
The Faculty leader, Darren Logan, was at the Sanger Institute from 2010 to June 2016 when he left to join Mars Incorporated to lead their basic research programmes into sensory mechanisms and feeding behaviour at the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition.
Behaviour is initiated by the accurate detection and cognitive processing of sensory cues to release an appropriate emotional, physical or physiological response. This process is greatly influenced by learning and memory; however many behaviours – such as feeding, parenting, predator avoidance and sex – also have an innate component.
The lab, headed by Darren Logan, generated mice with mutated genes identified from patients with behavioural, sensory or intellectual disorders. They determined whether the dysfunctional candidate gene causes the disease and investigate how it exerts its influence. They also studied how sensory cues are perceived, with a focus on the olfactory system, and used behavioural, cellular and transcriptomic techniques to understand how our genes influence our interpretation of the external environment.
Their long-term aim was to understand how learning integrates with innate responses to generate a diversity of behaviours, and to apply this knowledge to better appreciate how and why behavioural disorders occur.
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