Ölveczky, Bence P. 2011. "Motoring ahead with rodents." Current Opinion in Neurobiology 21(4) (August 2011): 571–578. doi:10.1016/j.conb.2011.05.002.
How neural circuits underlie the acquisition and control of learned motor behaviors has traditionally been explored in monkeys and, more recently, songbirds. The development of genetic tools for functional circuit analysis in rodents, the availability of transgenic animals with well characterized phenotypes, and the relative ease with which rats and mice can be trained to perform various motor tasks, make rodents attractive models for exploring the neural circuit mechanisms underlying the acquisition and production of learned motor skills. Here we discuss the advantages and drawbacks of this approach, review recent trends and results, and outline possible strategies for wider adoption of rodents as a model system for complex motor learning.