Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Genetics, Molecular Control and Clinical Relevance of Habituation Learning

Version 1 : Received: 12 January 2022 / Approved: 13 January 2022 / Online: 13 January 2022 (10:57:23 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 5 May 2022 / Approved: 6 May 2022 / Online: 6 May 2022 (08:58:50 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: ScienceDirect 2022
DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2022.104883


Habituation, the most ancient and fundamental form of learning, manifests already before birth. Neuroscientists have been fascinated for decades by its function as a firewall protecting our brains from sensory information overload and its indispensability for higher cognitive processing. Evidence that habituation learning is affected in autism and related monogenic neurodevelopmental syndromes and their animal models has exponentially grown, but the potential of this convergence to advance both fields is still largely unexploited.In this review, we provide a systematic overview of the genes that to date have been demonstrated to underlie habituation across species. We describe the biological processes they converge on, and highlight core regulatory pathways and repurposable drugs that may alleviate the habituation deficits associated with their dysregulation. We also summarize currently used habituation paradigms and extract the most important arguments from literature that support the crucial role of habituation for cognition in health and disease. We conclude that habituation is a powerful tool to overcome current bottlenecks in research, diagnostics and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders.


habituation learning; habituation genes; habituation pathways; neurodevelopmantal disorders


BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, Behavioral Neuroscience

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