Depression is a disorder that affects thoughts, but also the ability to engage in the most basic actions, as simple as getting out of bed. Therefore, this disorder must perturb a core network of brain regions implicated in our motivation to act. Our team at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology investigates in mice what part of the brain is active when they spontaneously engage in an action, using a novel method to record whole-brain activity. The goal is to better understand what brain circuits controls our drive to act and how they become dysfunctional in psychiatric disorders.
Within species diversity in morphology and behaviour is widespread in nature. In ruffs, a substantial amount of this diversity is encoded by variants of a supergene that have different fitness consequences for males and females.