Neural control of parental behaviors


Parenting is a multicomponent social behavior that is essential for the survival of offspring in many species. Despite extensive characterization of individual brain areas involved in parental care, we do not fully understand how discrete aspects of this behavior are orchestrated at the neural circuit level. Recent progress in identifying genetically specified neuronal populations critical for parenting, and the use of genetic and viral tools for circuit-cracking now allow us to deconstruct the underlying circuitry and, thus, to elucidate how different aspects of parental care are controlled. Here we review the latest advances, outline possible organizational principles of parental circuits and discuss future challenges.

Journal details

Volume 49
Pages 116-122
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