Nicolas Le Novere lenov at pasteur.fr
Wed Nov 29 10:59:07 EST 1995

In article <4916eg$bt at nntp3.u.washington.edu>, mkkuhner at phylo.genetics.washington.edu (Mary K. Kuhner) writes:
|> In article <hassan.65.00397563 at rfhsm.ac.uk> hassan at rfhsm.ac.uk (Mr Hassan Abdulrazzak) writes:
|> >This is probably a stupid question for which there is a simple answer.
|> >Has any one tried selecting for intelligence in animals. For example by 
|> >getting a population of rats to complete some test (eg. passive avoidance) and 
|> >then select the rats that performed best and mated them and then tested the 
|> >progeny, etc.
|> I'm afraid I can't give references, but one of my psychology books
|> described this experiment.  It turned out that they had selected
|> for...the ability to run mazes well.
|> Rats are already smart, given the size of their brains.  There are
|> probably no trivial or quick changes to make them much smarter.
|> The increase in intelligence between humans and chimpanzees was
|> accompanied by substantial changes in brain case shape and size,
|> and this sort of thing is not selectable in a few generations.
|> Mary Kuhner mkkuhner at genetics.washington.edu
|> -- 
|> I do not receive posts from the following systems because they tolerate
|> abuse of Usenet:  interramp.com psi.com scruz.net
|> If you wish me to see your message anyway please use email.

About the passive avoidance, see the article from Picciotto et al. in the
march issue of Nature. The knockout of the nicotinic receptor beta2 subunit 
suppress the response to nicotine in this test but also improve the response
of mutant versus wild-type. Of course it is not a "selection", it is a 
lot more drastic...

Nicolas Le Novère		Tel: 33-1-45-68-88-44
Neurobiologie Moléculaire	Fax: 33-1-45-68-88-36
Institut Pasteur		e-mail: lenov at pasteur.fr
25, rue du Dr Roux		http://www.pasteur.fr/units/neurobiomol

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