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A model organism is a species that is extensively studied to understand particular biological and psychological phenomena, with the expectation that discoveries made in the organism model will provide insight into the workings of other organisms. This is possible because fundamental biological principles such as metabolic, regulatory, and developmental pathways, and the genes that code for them, are conserved through evolution.

Often, model organisms are chosen on the basis that they are amenable to experimental manipulation. This usually will include characteristics such as; short life-cycle, techniques for genetic manipulation (inbred strains, stem cell lines, and transfection systems), and non-specialist living requirements. Sometimes, the genome arrangement facilitates the sequencing of the model organism's genome, for example, by being very compact or having a low proportion of junk DNA.

When researchers look for an organism to use in their studies, they look for several traits. Common among these are size, generation time, accessibility, manipulation, genetics, conservation of mechanisms, and potential economic benefit. As comparative molecular biology has become more common, some researchers have sought model organisms that represent assorted lineages of life.

Important model organisms in psychology[edit | edit source]

Invertebrates[edit | edit source]
Vertebrates[edit | edit source]

Model organisms used for specific research objectives[edit | edit source]

Sexual selection and sexual conflict[edit | edit source]

Hybrid zones[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Riddle, Donald L.; Blumenthal, Thomas; Meyer, Barbara J.; and Priess, James R. (Eds.). (1997). C. ELEGANS II. Woodbury, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Press. ISBN 0-87969-532-3. Full text available on-line.
  2. Manev H, Dimitrijevic N, Dzitoyeva S. (2003). Techniques: fruit flies as models for neuropharmacological research.. Trends Pharmacol. Sci. 24 (1): 41-43.
  3. Spitsbergen J.M. and Kent M.L. (2003). The state of the art of the zebrafish model for toxicology and toxicologic pathology research--advantages and current limitations. Toxicol Pathol. 31 (Supplement), 62-87. PubMed Abstract Link => PMID 12597434.

External links[edit | edit source]

Major Model Organisms in Psychology studies (Please edit)
Monkey | Dog | | Rat | Mouse
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