The emperor’s new wardrobe: Rebalancing diversity of animal models in neuroscience research

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Abstract

The neuroscience field is steaming ahead, fueled by a revolution in cutting-edge technologies. Concurrently, another revolution has been underway—the diversity of species utilized for neuroscience research is sharply declining, as the field converges on a few selected model organisms. Here, from the perspective of a young scientist, I naively ask: Is the great diversity of questions in neuroscience best studied in only a handful of animal models? I review some of the limitations the field is facing following this convergence and how these can be rectified by increasing the diversity of appropriate model species. I propose that at this exciting time of revolution in genetics and device technologies, neuroscience might be ready to diversify again, if provided the appropriate support.

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