Why behavioral neuroscience still needs diversity? A curious case of a persistent need

Ajay S. Mathuru, Frédéric Libersat, Ajai Vyas, Serafino Teseo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the past few decades, a substantial portion of neuroscience research has moved from studies conducted across a spectrum of animals to reliance on a few species. While this undoubtedly promotes consistency, in-depth analysis, and a better claim to unraveling molecular mechanisms, investing heavily in a subset of species also restricts the type of questions that can be asked, and impacts the generalizability of findings. A conspicuous body of literature has long advocated the need to expand the diversity of animal systems used in neuroscience research. Part of this need is utilitarian with respect to translation, but the remaining is the knowledge that historically, a diverse set of species were instrumental in obtaining transformative understanding. We argue that diversifying matters also because the current approach limits the scope of what can be discovered. Technological advancements are already bridging several practical gaps separating these two worlds. What remains is a wholehearted embrace by the community that has benefitted from past history. We suggest the time for it is now.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-141
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume116
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Ants
  • Computational geometry
  • Diversity in animal species
  • Jewel wasp
  • Krogh's principle
  • Mutualism
  • Toxoplasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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