Large scale species hybridization as a new tool for brain mapping
Cichlid fishes have undergone massive speciation in [recent years] (http://www.nature.com/nrg/journal/v5/n4/full/nrg1316.html). The species number of Cichlid fishes in [African lakes are in hundreds] (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-294x.2001.01200.x/abstract;jsessionid=58D9FA770C91788F7EFC99DE6DF65156.f01t01) . The ecological niche and behavioral repertoire of each species can be vastly different, yet due to recent divergence, several retain the ability to produce viable and fertile offspring in forced [settings] (http://www.nature.com/nrg/journal/v5/n4/full/nrg1316.html). While comparative brain anatomy of few cichlids has provided some limited insights into brain evolution, the potential of Cichlids for detailed neuronal mapping has been completely unexplored. We propose a simple scheme for the exploration of macroscopic brain anatomy, neuronal network architecture and single neuron computation using crossing of cichlids with vastly different behavioral responses, for example a bottom feeder and a top carnivore or solitary species and a more social species. The progeny of such scheme of crosses would exhibit certain behavioral traits of one or the other parent or an average and correspondingly have underlying neuronal changes. A large scale systematic crossing, behavioral, genomic, and neuronal mapping of hybrid progenies would enable nuanced brain mapping. This approach can open an entirely new direction of brain mapping, as compared to the single gene mutation approach of neurogenetics.