Behavior Genetics and Aging

  • Charles L. Goodrick


In their classic textbook entitled Behavior Genetics, Fuller and Thompson (1960) summarized most of the behavioral information concerning the relationship of genetics and behavior available at that time. Age as a factor affecting behavior was not considered in animal studies of behavior genetics, and in general has not been seriously examined in animal behavioral research. There have been exceptions, including the early age-related research studies of rats by Slonaker (1912), Richter (1922), and Stone (1929). These studies, however, were not continued or followed by additional research by the original investigators or by their students or colleagues. That they were not may be due to factors such as the great length of time needed, the amount of support required, the complications of disease or accidental deaths in the animal colony, and the experimental error that can plague long-term research.


Life Span Aged Mouse Inbred Mouse Young Mouse Behavior Genetic 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aschoff, J., 1965, Orcadian Clocks, North-Holland, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  2. Chai, C., 1959, Life span in inbred and hybrid mice, J. Hered. 50:203.Google Scholar
  3. Curtis, H., Tilley, J., Crowley, C., and Fuller, M., 1966, The role of genetic factors in the aging process, J. Geront. 21:365.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Elias, P., Elias, M., and Eleftheriou, B., 1975, Emotionality, exploratory behavior, and locomotion in aging inbred strains of mice, Gerontologia 21:46.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fuller, J., and Thompson, R., 1960, Behavior Genetics, John Wiley & Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Goodrick, C., 1967a, Behavioral characteristics of young and senescent inbred female mice of the C57BL/6J strain, J. Gerontol. 22: 459.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Goodrick, C., 1967a, Learning and retention of a light-contingent bar press response for three inbred strains of mice, J. Psychol. 67: 191.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Goodrick, C., 1973a, Exploration activity and emotionality of albino and pigmented mice, J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 84: 73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goodrick, C., 1973b, The effects of dietary protein upon growth of inbred and hybrid mice, Growth 37: 355.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Goodrick, C., 1974, The effects of exercise on longevity and behavior of hybrid mice which differ in coat color, J. Gerontol. 29:129.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Goodrick, C., 1975a, Life-span and the inheritance of longevity of inbred mice, J. Gerontol. 30: 257.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Goodrick, C., 1975b, Behavioral differences in young and aged mice: Strain differences for activity measures, operant learning, sensory discrimination, and alcohol preference, Exp. Aging Res. 1: 191.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goodrick, C., 1977a, Body weight change over the life span and longevity for C57BL/6J mice and mutations which differ in maximal body weight, Gerontology 23: 405.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goodrick, C., 1977b, Body weight increment and length of life II. The effect of genetic constitution and dietary protein, J. of Gerontol. (in press).Google Scholar
  15. Goodrick, C., 1977c, Ethanol preference of inbred mice: Mode of inheritance and the effect of age on the genetic system, J. of Stud. Alcohol (in press).Google Scholar
  16. Grahn, D., 1972, Data collection and genetic analysis in the selection and study of rodent model systems in aging, in: Development of the Rodent as a Model System of Aging (D. Gibson, ed.), pp. 55–65, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Bethesda, Maryland.Google Scholar
  17. Green, E., (ed.), 1966, Biology of the Laboratory Mouse, McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Hrubant, H., 1964, Specific genetic control of life span, J. Gerontol. 19:451.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Lane, P., and Dickie, M., 1958, The effect of restricted food intake on the life span of genetically obese mice, J. Nutr. 64:549.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Lindzey, G., and Thiessen, D., 1970, Contributions to Behavior-Genetic Analysis: The Mouse as a Prototype, Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York.Google Scholar
  21. Lockard, R., 1963, Some effects of light upon the behavior of rodents, Psychol. Bull. 60:509.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McCay, C., Crowell, M., and Maynard, L., 1935, The effect of retarded growth upon the length of the life span and upon the ultimate body size, J. Nutr. 10:63.Google Scholar
  23. McClearn, G., and Rodgers, D., 1961, Genetic factors in alcohol preference of laboratory mice, J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 54:116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Richter, C., 1922, A behavioristic study of the activity of the rat, Comp. Psychol. Monogr. 1:1.Google Scholar
  25. Roberts, R., 1961, The lifetime growth and reproduction of selected strains of mice, Heredity 16:369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Russell, E., 1966, Lifespan and aging patterns, in: Biology of the Laboratory Mouse (E. Green, ed.), pp. 511–519, McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  27. Russell, E., 1972, Genetic considerations in the selection of rodent species and strains for research in aging, in: Development of the Rodent as a Model System of Aging (D. Gibson, ed.), pp. 33–53, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Bethesda, Maryland.Google Scholar
  28. Silberberg, M., and Silberberg, R., 1954, Factors modifying the lifespan of mice, Am. J. Physiol. 177:23.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Silberberg, R., Jarrett, S., and Silberberg, M., 1962, Longevity of female mice kept on various dietary regiments during growth, J. Gerontol. 17:239.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Slonaker, J., 1912, Normal activity of the albino rat from birth to natural death, rate of growth, and duration of life, J. Anim. Behav. 2:20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sprott, R., and Eleftheriou, B., 1974, Open-field behavior in aging inbred mice, Gerontologia 20:155.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stone, C., 1929, The age factor in animal learning. I. Rats in the problem box and the maze, Genet. Psychol. Monogr. 5:1.Google Scholar
  33. Storer, J., 1966, Longevity and gross pathology at death in 22 inbred mouse strains, J. Gerontol. 21:404.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Wax, T., 1975, Runwheel activity patterns in mature-young and senescent mice: The effect of constant lighting conditions J. Gerontol. 30:22.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Wax, T., 1977, Effects of age, strain, and illumination intensity on activity and self-selection of light-dark schedules in mice, J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 91:51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wax, T., and Goodrick, C., 1975, Voluntary exposure to light by young and aged albino and pigmented inbred mice as a function of light intensity, Dev. Psychobiol. 8:297.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles L. Goodrick
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Behavioral ScienceGerontology Research CenterBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Public Health ServiceU.S. Department of Health, Education and WelfareBaltimoreUSA

Personalised recommendations