Mouse models of autism: Testing hypotheses about molecular mechanisms

Florence I. Roullet, Jacqueline Crawley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

38 Scopus citations


Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is currently diagnosed by the presence of three behavioral criteria (1) qualitative impairments in reciprocal social interactions, (2) deficits in communication, including delayed language and noninteractive conversation, and (3) motor stereotypies, repetitive behaviors, insistence on sameness, and restricted interests. This chapter describes analogous behavioral assays that have been developed for mice, including tests for social approach, reciprocal social interactions, olfactory communication, ultrasonic vocalizations, repetitive and perseverative behaviors, and motor stereotypies. Examples of assay applications to genetic mouse models of autism are provided. Robust endophenotypes that are highly relevant to the core symptoms of autism are enabling the search for the genetic and environmental causes of autism, and the discovery of effective treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
ISSN (Print)18663370
ISSN (Electronic)18663389


  • Autism
  • Behavior
  • Candidate genes
  • Communication
  • Genetics
  • Mice
  • Mouse models
  • Olfactory
  • Repetitive
  • Social
  • Vocalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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